Social Question

josie's avatar

Why are those who believe in a deity dismissed as morons, but those who believe in Global Warming are regarded as infallible?

Asked by josie (30926points) December 14th, 2016

Since the time of Abraham and Moses, there has been an argument about the existence of a supernatural deity.

I am atheist, but I appreciate the passions of this debate. In spite of science, people tend to believe what they believe. So be it. It has gone on “forever”. And nobody is winning the argument. Even now, after a few thousand years, the issue is unresolved. And the argument is costly in human terms, no doubt.

On the other hand, the anti industrial revolution, the germ of the environmentalist debate, is relatively young.

It is only a couple of centuries old. And yet, the proponents of global warming, the current edition of the anti industrial revolution, want their point of view to be accepted NOW. It seems to be a waste of time to them to work through the debate as the deists have done and continue to do.

They believe that they are more special than than the folks who have argued the principle of deity for centuries, and done a reasonable job of hanging on.

What makes the the Global Warming crowd (relative infants) more important than the God Exists crowd (relative veterans to combating skepticism)?

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38 Answers

Sneki95's avatar

I think you’re mixing apples and oranges. How exactly is global warming connected to religion?

Also, global warming is a threat to, like, everyone. God’s status is not a threat to the life on this planet.

cinnamonk's avatar

Who is dismissing people who believe in deities as morons? Who is claiming people who believe in climate change are infallible?

olivier5's avatar

Science has nothing to do with gods or anything supernatural. You could do science for billions of years and not disprove God. In contrast, global warming is a natural phenomenon, not a supernatural concept, and it can be proven with the most simple, 6th grade level experiment.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Here is where the rub is….prove humans are causing it.

cinnamonk's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Human activities, like agriculture and industry, cause certain gaseous compounds, like carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, to proliferate in the earth’s atmosphere, where they capture invisible solar energy in their molecular bonds. Carbon dioxide and other gases remain in our atmosphere for decades, covering the earth like a blanket and increasing the temperature at the earth’s surface. This is known as the greenhouse effect, and it is the underlying mechanism of global climate change. It was discovered in the mid-1800s, and it is generally introduced to students when they are in middle school.

Cruiser's avatar

@Sneki95 “God’s status is not a threat to the life on this planet” Tell that to those consumed by God in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

zenvelo's avatar

The people who “believe” in Global Warming are not infallible, they are just expressing a provable truth. That does not make them right in everything, just accepting a fact as a fact.

And, for the record, I am not stating anything about the cause of global warming or the best way to address it as an issue.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Look up terraforming. It’s the same concept kind of.

To make other planets warmer, they pump greenhouse gases into the planets atmosphere. (It also has other intended effects.)

Climate change is real. It needs to be addressed yesterday, if the process is to be slowed, that’s why it’s important to give it attention now.

Religious debates have little baring on reality.

FACT.Miami and hundreds of other large cities will be sitting several feet below sea levels ,possibly within the next 50–100 years. Maybe sooner if the ice caps melt faster than we anticipated. If you think the world is volatile now,wait til there’s even less habitable land and resources.

A theological debate won’t ever be settled for one of faith. Climate change is happening in front of our eyes.

I know that many greedy ,selfish corporations, and Republicans, would like to believe that it’s not man made. But then there is reality.

kritiper's avatar

Believing or not believing in “God” doesn’t create actual visual harm like Climate Change does.

ragingloli's avatar

1. Global Warming is an observed fact. Ice cores, tree rings, historic temperature measurements, satellite data, melting glaciers and ice caps. You name it.
2. The Green House Effect is a scientific fact. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and Methane is even worse.
3. Humans have pumped 1.5 Teratons of CO2 into the atmosphere since 1751, current yearly output sitting at 26 Gigatons, and the yearly methane output sits at 7 Gigatons
4. 2+2=4, always and everywhere

kritiper's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Man is adding to the problem, if not creating it all by himself.

flutherother's avatar

Climate change is real and measureable. It is like the tide. Whether you “believe’ in it or not is irrelevant it is going to come in anyway. The science that links human activity to climate change is also pretty solid and it’s probably best we do something about it.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Because science backs up the belief of Global warming.
Where ideology backs up the belief of God.
One is backed up by facts and studies.
The other is backed up by a very old story book that we are “supposed” to believe without question.
And just for the record I do believe in both, and love how the right think it’s (global warming ) is just a hoax.

But God is super real.
I am pretty sure the earth even if the right have their way and squash the fact of global warming will last another 35 years and that is about all I have left on this shit pile, but I do feel for the youngsters we leave behind,just one more reason I am super glad we chose not to have kids.
Does that answer your question as to why one is a moron and the other is not?

olivier5's avatar

@ragingloli sums it up nicely. But some people have been denying the obvious for far too long to admit it now, or ever. They have invested so much energy into their denial that they will deny GW till they die, or totally lose face. They can’t possibly lose face so GW cannot exist for them.

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cinnamonk's avatar

@Cruiser indeed, the two most significant things people can do to reduce their carbon footprint are to stop eating meat (animal agriculture contributes to about 50 percent of global warming) and, for people in the first world, to limit their reproduction (the carbon legacy of a child born in the US is about 160 times greater than the carbon legacy of a child born in Bangladesh, for example).

cinnamonk's avatar

Also, @Cruiser “global warming” doesn’t need to be in quotes…there’s no question that it’s real. :)

Cruiser's avatar

@AnonymousAccount8 Hard to dispute the fact that farm raised animals fart (methane gases) and have to breathe (CO2) gases….humans then consume these beasts and meat which then make humans fart way more than equal amounts of plant based proteins and they also breathe heavier (CO2 gases) when snoring with a full belly of beef and Munich Beer they washed the meat down with. Mitigating the people/meat cycle seems like the most logical and easiest solution to global warming.

cinnamonk's avatar

@Cruiser you are absolutely correct which is why it irks me to no end that no one ever talks about this self-evident fact when climate change mitigation comes up, instead going on and on about changing light bulbs, driving fuel efficient cars, installing solar panels, etc.

We should be encouraging people to eat less meat and have less kids, first and foremost.

Cruiser's avatar

@AnonymousAccount8 I wish I could put this dynamic in more compelling and scientific terms than farts and snoring but it is reality. We breathe and fart and so do the farm animals we consume and you have to then transpose these simple bodily functions by the millions of humans and farm animals in the world and we have millions or more of cubic feet of “Green house gases” that is purportedly destroying our planet. The issue I have is that it is much more convenient to cast the blame on coal fueled electrical generating stations than our own arse and pie hole. A fart and a snore has nowhere the impact as a chugging chimney stack of a coal generating station. Yet the coal plants number in the thousands and the butts and mouths of humans and farm beasts measure in billions. Crunch the numbers…do the math…the follow the money to the real answer to the global warming question.

MrGrimm888's avatar

It seems like a problem that could be solved (cow farts.)
Can’t we store them in a big place overnight to absorb the gases through fans and scrubbers?

Every car is required to have a catalytic converter, and muffler in my state.

They should make cow fart mufflers….

I’m sorry. But if ‘cow farts brought down society’ was a plot in a movie , nobody would watch that movie….Well. Maybe Sharknado fans would….

Kropotkin's avatar

Just because one thing has been argued about for millennia and remains “unresolved”—it does not follow that other things argued about for a shorter amount of time can’t reach a confident conclusion in that time

There’s your basic fallacy.

I think the reason why metaphyiscal questions about deities are never satisfied should be obvious.

And questions pertaining to physical and empirical claims that can be verified by observation and measurements can be concluded relatively quickly—like global warming, which we can accept with a very high degree of confidence, because we’ve got measurements of the Earth’s climate system warming significantly and rapidly, and this warming is only accounted for by the accumulation of atmospheric CO2 since the beginning of the industrial revolution.

God, on the other hand, doesn’t even have a coherent definition—after centuries of debate.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Bows to @Kropotkin ... GA…

si3tech's avatar

@josie An excellent question.

gorillapaws's avatar

What makes us different? if there was a scientific consensus that Global Climate Change was, in fact, wrong, I would follow the evidence.

If you were in a room with 100 physicians, 99 of whom said “don’t take that pill it’ll make your dick fall off, we’ve done hundreds of studies that prove it,” and the last doctor says, “the data is inconclusive, we need more research” (and he’s being paid by the drug manufacturer), do you take the pill? Would any rational man (not looking for a sex-change) take it?

I’m not a climate scientist, but I recognize that science is THE BEST METHOD for learning about our physical reality that mankind has ever come up with, whether that’s astrophysics, chemistry, basic mechanics, biology, and even Earth science/climate. Science is the reason why we have iPhones, massively longer life expediencies, safer cars, buildings, bridges, photos from the surface of a comet, microwave ovens and indoor plumbing.

Stinley's avatar

I haven’t read all the answers here but I don’t think that the question is comparing the same things. God cannot be proven but there is little to no evidence that God exists. Climate change cannot be proven but there is very good evidence that it exists. So we can say that it is likely that climate change is real and that it is most likely caused by the actions of man since the industrial revolution. These caveats are there always – implied or explicit.

Anyway, those wonderful people at XKCD illustrate climate change evidence beautifully

olivier5's avatar

Why are those who believe the earth is not flat are regarded as infallible, when we don’t know if God exists? That’s what I want to know…

Sneki95's avatar

@Cruiser I would but you see, they are fictional.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I need about 20 posts and a full day or two to properly answer this question. Cliff notes: there is zero proof of any deity except that there is a sliver of circumstantial evidence in the apparent order in the universe that could be construed in such a way that would lead people to the possibility of an intelligent creator.

Now, global warming is a matter of fact in the sense of historical geology. It is actually poorly understood and is not an exact science. There are however certain components that are hard science such as co2 measurements, ph readings etc. Most people have about a 5th grade understanding of it at best and I have yet to see anyone here who has any real climate science experience. It’s also quite political. You have doomsdayers on one end and deniers on the other. This should raise red flags. All that said there is enough circumstantial evidence and several proven human contributions that stack the deck in the direction of it being a real problem where you don’t have to take a leap of faith to buy into it as you would with a deity.

LostInParadise's avatar

Whether or not there is global warming and whether or not it is being caused by man are testable hypotheses. If there is one, just one, test that the hypotheses fail in then the hypotheses must be rejected. So far the hypotheses have passed all the tests.

There is no similar test for detecting the presence of a deity. That means that the idea of a divinity is scientifically meaningless. It may be meaningful in some non-scientific way, but from the point of view of science the question of whether a divinity exists is not a valid question.

rojo's avatar

Can I still eat fish? Do fish fart?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I would not agree with that. The whole global warming thing has many different aspects and disproving one does not negate the whole thing. Sometimes a theory can be given credibility through proxy but cannot be directly proven. Only a few of the hypotheses have been. It’s still very much an open question what human impact is and will be.

JLeslie's avatar

Your question implies that those who believe in God don’t believe in Glibal Warming. That’s not always the case.

Global warming is a fact. We know for sure the earth has been warming the last 20+ years, and the trend looks pretty steep in recent years so it appears this isn’t normal bouncing around back and forth, but a trend that will continue. The argument is what is causing it, not whether it is happening. And, I guess also if it’s simply cyclical, or will the warming trend continue for many years.

Global warming can cause severe winter weather, so they have tried to rename it climate change to stop all the ignorant comments when it’s 15 degrees for days on end in Washington DC and the get 80 inches of snow in one winter.

Back when I was a kid in the 70’s it seemed to me everyone believed that aerosols and freon were tearing the ozone layer, yet people don’t want to believe humans might be affecting climate change. I primarily blame politics.

I know that many people who believe in God sight evidence in God. They believe they see evidence all around them reinforcing there is a God.

Scientists have scientific evidence of the affects man is having on climate change.

No one should be calling anyone a moron or infallible. Both are bad.

I would argue we should be talking about pollution, and that God created the universe and the earth, and anyone who believes in God should care about not raping the earth, polluting the air, and significantly affecting the balance of the ecosystem. we don’t even need to talk about global warming to care about the air we breath. If the side affect if cleaning up the air is also helping the climate then that great.

The argument about God goes on for thousands of years, because Hid does nothing to put the question to rest. That’s suspicious to many people. People see climate change as urgent and not an argument they are willing to wait thousands of years to settle.

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rojo's avatar


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Pandora's avatar

Because both sides will always dismiss what they can’t understand or see. They actually have a lot in common. I don’t see it as a benefit to disbelieve in either until I have actual proof that either one is a lie. And I don’t find that either contradict each other.

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