Science vs Religion


I already introduce our theist of the day, J R Dickens and in those post he outdoes himself in trying to convince us of two things, one that science is compatible with religion and that Atheism is a religion. Whenever you see anyone say that, just know they are either of two things, accommodationists of whatever stripe or they are deeply religious people.

There are two basic worldview choices: theism and atheism. Most scientists today are grounded in the religion of atheism—the belief that God does not exist. They subscribe to a form of science that can be described as naturalism or materialism (the two of which are closely related). Naturalism is the belief that all we see in the universe must be explained only in terms of natural laws—by definition, no supernatural explanations are allowed. Materialism assumes that the universe is nothing more than “matter in motion”—there is no guiding purpose or intelligence, only random forces producing visible effects.

For beginners, Atheism is a lack of belief in gods. How this translates to a religion is anyone’s guess. Is there any among you who can explain the phenomena in any terms that are not natural and what really is the problem with materialism. Is there an instance in your life where there is no interaction of matter?

Before I proceed, allow me to define our terms. Merriam Webster dictionary defines religion thus

a : the state of a religious 
(1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2): commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
Someone please tell me at what point does lack of a belief translates to a religion.
The choice to reject the possibility of supernatural causes is a religious commitment, not a scientific commitment.
When Laplace responded to Napoleon that he didn’t see the need for the god hypotheses, he was not making a religious commitment. He was just saying a fact as he had observed it. If you think there are supernatural causes, can you tell us where and how they can be tested by science? If they can’t be observed or tested, then the working assumption of no supernatural causes is not a religious commitment but a statement of facts as we know them. As you a scientist that our apologist says he is, he must show us where the supernatural acts for us to accept his assertion that we have decided to throw the supernatural outta the window whereas it is actually measurable.
Secondly, notice that the up-front assumptions of naturalism cannot be tested by any scientific (empirical) methods. In other words, naturalism depends upon a starting premise that is self-contradictory—that everything (physical) must be explained in terms of natural (metaphysical) laws which would not exist if naturalism was true.
First of you are lying to claim that naturalism depends upon a self-contradictory premise, unless am wrong, you are making a claim here that naturalism is a priori belief. It ain’t. The reason scientists and philosophers have adopted the naturalistic world view is because based on the knowledge of the universe as we have it, appears to us to not involve any interaction with the supernatural. It is based on experimentation, observation and volumes of studies in different disciplines so that the claim of self-contradiction has no place.
Please give an instance where the assumptions of naturalism can’t be tested by any scientific methods and then tell us what is used to test religious claims, that is if they can withstand any testing for that matter!
In addition, the scientific (empirical) method depends upon logic to hypothesize, test, and draw conclusions. And science depends upon mathematics to describe what it observes. The laws of logic and mathematics form the basis for scientific investigation, and yet these are metaphysical assumptions that are beyond the reach of empirical scientific investigation. Likewise, “laws” that govern the behavior of matter and energy exist only in the metaphysical realm, though we observe the effect of those laws in the physical realm.
It is not easy to notice the problem with this statement. It lies in his definition of science. He takes a very narrow view so that mathematics, social studies, morality are not included in the definition of science. It is this question of definition that is at the core of his misleading statement!
The bias in this “scientific” worldview should be apparent: No supernatural causes are possible because we say so. Therefore, any theories that involve any kind of supernatural guiding intelligence are rejected out-of-hand as “unscientific.” Materialistic science only produces materialistic causes because those are the only kinds of causes that are possible in this worldview. But there is no scientific basis for assuming exclusively material causes—this assumption is entirely an article of faith.
I only ask for one supernatural theory with supporting evidence that it is at least plausible and can be tested by different scientists then we can have a debate. In the absence of any such theory, this claim is then not sustainable. Scientists at least the ones have read their work leave a small room for the existence of a deity but even such little room the deity has refused to claim.
It is therefore absurd 1) to claim that Atheism is a religion without supporting such an assertion; 2) to claim naturalism and materialism are based on self-contradictory premises; 3) that the working assumptions that there are no supernatural causes is a religious commitment; unless you can go ahead to show that everything must be religious to make it correct!

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

18 thoughts on “Science vs Religion

  1. The theist, to justify their world view, must needs assert that all things are religious in nature, and that nature itself is of religious origin. Without such assertion their world view is both without credibility AND without purpose, thus denying them any of the answers they so desperately want. They don’t get satisfying answers from religion but they are answers and that, to them, is better than no, none, nil as an answer. To keep those answers they have they twist and turn and lie to get the questions and evidence to fit their answers.

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      It is the business of the theologian or apologist to twist words in such a way that it corresponds to his belief no matter how tortuous that twisting is! Our duty is to point it out.

      Like

  2. I think this guy JR Dickens may be screening comments.

    Like

  3. Reblogged this on Nightmares of Jesus and commented:
    Awesome post man! Reblogged!

    Like

  4. SteveInCO says:

    Ah, yet another christian who hopes we will cooperate in conflating “a view about religion” with “a religious view.”
    I have many books about religion which no one in their right mind would consider religious literature. But of course that’s no barrier to a fundie.
    The logic appears to be that we make a “leap of faith” deciding that the world can be apprehended through reason, a leap of faith comparable to the *very detailed* faith they have. My axioms are that existence exists, that things are what they are and will behave according to their natures, and that my consciousness exists. It’s a short leap from these to assuming logic and the evidence of the senses will let you figure things out. Fairly straightforward, and in fact it’s hard to argue against them without actually assuming them in the first place. (Please, try proving logic is invalid without using… logic.)

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      Steve you put it nicely. They have a detailed faith and we take a leap of faith after considering the evidence!

      Like

      • SteveInCO says:

        Yeah my “faith” (it really isn’t) is in a short list of statements that most people (there are some whacked out philosophers who’d cavil) would agree with. Their article of faith runs 800 pages of small type. Well except for the ones who insist you shouldn’t take the book literally; they have to apply a pick-and-choose filter to it, based on I-don’t-know-what.

        Before some Muslim comes in and says theirs is brief (“There is no god but allah and Mohammed is his prophet”) I’ll point out that theirs incorporates the entire text of the Koran by reference.

        Like

  5. john zande says:

    Mr. Dickens is not a healthy player. He posts this drivel then refuses to approve comments. My last comment has been waiting in his hidden box for 3 days now. It’s infuriating how cowardly these apologists are. The fact they filter and omit replies is a sure sign of the utter weakness of their arguments.

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      I had discovered a while back that most of the apologists don’t respond to questions and sometimes don’t approve comments so I changed how to deal with them. Most of them can’t withstand challenge for the posts they write mainly because they are based on very wrong and erroneous assumptions and calling them out just makes them shut up!

      Like

  6. Oh my. This is hilarious “Likewise, “laws” that govern the behavior of matter and energy exist only in the metaphysical realm, though we observe the effect of those laws in the physical realm.”

    What utter and expected bullshit. It’s so cute to watch theists try to claim that “laws” exist externally to reality. They cannot show this to be true, of course. The laws that govern the behavior of matter and energy were determined by observation of the physical realm aka reality. Same with mathematics. Both exist and are defined by reality. There is no seperate realm that it exists in. Indeed, if reality didn’t exist, then math wouldn’t exist since there would be nothing at all.

    All in all, when theists have to resort to such nonsense as trying to divorce concepts from reality, you know that they are backed into a corner with only solipsism as their last resort.

    Now, still waiting for any evidence of the supernatural at all.

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      What I find sad really is the guy is a PhD is engineering! I mean to get a PhD you do some philosophy and to write something like this is worse than ridiculous!

      Like

  7. “I only ask for one supernatural theory with supporting evidence that it is at least plausible and can be tested . . ” And now there is one you can test and confirm for yourself! For what science and religion, not to mention the rest of us, thought impossible has now happened. History has its first literal, testable and fully demonstrable proof for faith.

    The first wholly new interpretation for two thousand years of the moral teachings of Christ is published on the web. Radically different from anything else we know of from theology or history, this new teaching is predicated upon a precise, predefined, and predictable experience of transcendent omnipotence and called ‘the first Resurrection’ in the sense that the Resurrection of Jesus was intended to demonstrate Gods’ willingness to reveal Himself and intervene directly into the natural world for those obedient to His will, paving the way for access, by faith, to the power of divine Will and ultimate proof!

    Thus ‘faith’ becomes an act of trust in action, the search to discover this direct individual intervention into the natural world by omnipotent power that confirms divine will, law, command and covenant, which at the same time, realigns our flawed human moral compass with the Divine, “correcting human nature by a change in natural law, altering biology, consciousness and human ethical perception beyond all natural evolutionary boundaries.” So like it or no, a new religious teaching, testable by faith, meeting all Enlightenment criteria of evidence based causation and definitive proof now exists. Nothing short of an intellectual, moral and religious revolution is getting under way. To test or not to test, that is the question? More info at http://www.energon.org.uk,
    http://soulgineering.com/2011/05/22/the-final-freedoms/

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      I visited the blogs you mention here and saw no proof unless it is somewhere in the many words you wrote then just lift that part with the proof and post it here. I seem not to have time to search for it in the over 300 pages you have there or better still share it with William Craig and Platinga, they may have something to say.

      Like

  8. […] fine readers know something I don’t know and could weigh in on this matter. In the previous post, I did show the scientist is not making this view of the universe as a matter of faith but this is […]

    Like

We sure would love to hear your comments, compliments and thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s