In a recent exchange with an internet atheist of the “Science Disproves God” variety I was reminded once again how both sides in the theism/ atheism debate so often mix science and religion in confused ways to use one to disprove the other. Here is a part of that conversation:
Atheist:

The Uncreated Being” is not the best explanation for the things you mention, in fact it’s the lazy conclusion that would make all the sciences a waste of time. Luckily most scientists do not operate in the paradigm of superstition and focus on reality; which theism seems to run counter to since it needs faith (and I mean the belief in ideas without any evidence) to operate.

As for the source of your knowledge, David, this is extremely important and far from immaterial. All of guys believe in a book that had been written and compiled by ancient people with a limited understanding of the world they lived in. How can you give these people so much credit? It is their god that you guys claim to believe, and you are using their texts as the only worldly proof of this deity’s existence.

“God is a Being beyond being and God is love but yet beyond love, etc.” this is just pure silliness. This “God” seems to be whatever you guys want Him/It to be, an all-knowing, all-seeing, all-smelling, all-touching, all-judging, all-loving, all-listening, all-colorful, all-merciful, all-over-the-universe-and outside-of-the-universe-being, all-creating, all-breaking, all-covered-in-a-shroud-of-mystery, all-muscular, all-manly, all-fill-in-the-blank thing-of-a-bob.

But don’t listen to me. I’m just an incoherent self-contradictory-atheist 🙂

Faith vs ReasonTheist: “God is not a lazy conclusion that hinders science; believing that He created an ordered universe that could be studied is what inspired science in the first place.

Questions of whether God exists are outside of science’s competency; science simply has no tools with which to measure anything outside of the material world. Insisting that science does eliminate the “God Hypothesis” is not science but scientism- itself every bit as much a philisophy/ worldview as theism or atheism.

Similarly, when a certain brand of believers try to apply the Bible to determine whether a scientific Theory is valid or not they are misusing the Bible outside of its own competency. Using the Bible against the Theory of Evolution is silly- only a better scientific hypothesis can rise to overcome a scientific Theory.

Religion and science ask different questions. Religion asks and answers “Who” and “Why” (i.e. Ultimate Causation questions) while Science asks and answers “When” and “How” questions (i.e. Proximate Causation). Science is purely and simply the study of physical reasons for physical phenomena while Religion is the study of philosophical/ theological reasons for the ultramundane. When religion tries to answer science questions the result is fundamentalism, when science tries to answer religion’s questions it is scientism.

This is why in science we use Occam’s Razor to study the functionality reasons for physical phenomena. God has so well-ordered the universe that we need only study the creation to figure out “how things work” (as opposed to “why they are”). Contrary to Dawkins, et al, Occam’s Razor does not eliminate God as an “unnecessary entity”, it is simply a heuristic device to help us formulate physical explanations for physical phenomena. It has nothing to do with whether God is involved or not. If you do not believe me, just ask FATHER William of Occam, the English Franciscan friar and devout believer in God and the Bible who formulated the Razor.

Using either science or religion to overturn the other is to be ignorant of the competency of each discipline. Using Occam’s Razor to explain away God as many atheists do is to turn a precision instrument into a clumsy rubber mallet. Conversely, using the Bible to explain away the clear scientific consensus is a gross violation of the ancient text’s literary, cultural and historical contexts. 

As for the malleability of what we mean by God you are simply mistaken, Jakub. Our definition does not keep changing, it is the criticisms of atheists that keep ignoring that definition (which has been pretty consistent concerning God’s nature since the ancient Greek philosophers at least). We are not “moving the goal posts” but responding to “straw god” attacks. I find that most of the time when internet infidels criticize God, religion, or the Bible they do so with the same level of understanding and sophistication with which YECs criticize the science behind evolution and that these attacks are just as easily dealt with by someone literate in the topic. If you find the concept of God to be silly it is not because it is in fact silly but because you are probably philosophically illiterate regardless of your level of scientific knowledge (as even atheist philosophers would agree). There are very good and intelligent people on both sides of the theism/ atheism debate. Neither side has a slam dunk argument and either position could be reasonably held.

I love Jesus, I trust the Bible, I accept the scientific consensus regarding the ages of the universe/ earth, I accept biological evolution- and I approve this message 🙂

One Response to At the Corner of Faith and Reason

  • Marco says:

    Mat 24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
    Mat 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
    Mat 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
    Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
    Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
    Mat 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
    Mat 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
    Mat 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
    Mat 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
    Mat 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
    Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
    Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
    Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
    Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
    Mat 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
    Mat 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
    Mat 24:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
    Mat 24:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
    Mat 24:19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
    Mat 24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
    Mat 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
    Mat 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
    Mat 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
    Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
    Mat 24:25 Behold, I have told you before.
    Mat 24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
    Mat 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
    Mat 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
    Mat 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
    Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
    Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
    Mat 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
    Mat 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
    Mat 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
    Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
    Mat 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
    Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
    Mat 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
    Mat 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
    Mat 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
    Mat 24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
    Mat 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
    Mat 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
    Mat 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
    Mat 24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
    Mat 24:46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
    Mat 24:47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
    Mat 24:48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
    Mat 24:49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
    Mat 24:50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
    Mat 24:51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

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