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:
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 🙂
Theist: “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 🙂