Saturday, February 26, 2011

Debunking Christianity: Scientists to Theologians: Put Up Or Shut Up!

John Loftus has posted the following thoughts and I thought it would be worth responding by annotating his brief comments with my own in bold.

Christian theists love to point out the limits of science, and it does have some.

Alright! We have a consensus!!!!

But to focus on them to the exclusion of the massive amount of information we have acquired from science is being extremely ungrateful for what it has achieved. To me that is one aspect of the denigration of science.

Agreed some fundamental Christians do so, but I think to claim that all theists exclude evidence because it does not support what they think is true is highly unfair and is not correct.

The limits of science are based in 1) the limits of human imagination, and 2) the limits of that which we can detect. That which is undetectable does not fall within the realm of science, although, with further advances in our scientific instruments we can detect things that were previously thought undetectable.

Interesting. Another consensus. The Bible says the same thing.

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.- Ephesians 3:16-21

The Bible is real clear. It states that to know reality we need to know God. Our limited and fallible imaginations are not an issue because God is greater than our imagination and we can have his power at work within us. We don't need to depend on our own abilities or solely on our own intellect. God levels he playing field.

If science does reach its limits in the future, there won't be any cause for theistic celebration because scientists may not know they have reached its limits, and because there are probably some things they might never know.

I agree with this statement too. Scary. The one thing I would add that theist (rational ones anyway) are not praying for the failure of science or scientists. Science is a worthy endeavor that God raises up people to do and even though atheist and agnostics don't see it, Science helps us understand God better because it is through the created reality God has chosen as one of the ways he has revealed Himself to us.

Why should that conclusion, if they reach it, be preferred to an evolving God concept in a sea of god-concepts without any means to settle which one is to be preferred as the best explanation of the same data? What is the theistic alternative method for squeezing the truth out of the universe? What is it? Until theists can propose a better method than science to learn about the universe, then they should just shut up!

And here is where John Loftus goes off the rails. The Bible does not present an "evolving god concept in a sea of god-concepts without any mean to settle which one to be preferred." True enough God has revealed Himself to us - in His own way and under His own terms. Only a moron would say that science is not a viable way of discovering truth in the universe. It's also equally stupid to think that science is the only way in discovering truth given the acknowledged limitations of science. Does theism propose a better method to learn about the universe and your place in it? Christianity gives you the best option: relationship with the creator. We didn't come with an exhaustive instruction manual. If you want to know the proper purpose and use of a thing, you ask the one who made it because the one who made it knows what the design specs are and what the purpose of the design was. Science is one of the things that God gave us an aid in that search but not as a replacement for knowing Him, reconciled through Jesus Christ. Notice that John Loftus and many atheists like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins say: "I will not serve a God like that. Such a God could not reasonably exist." They say that while at the same time admitting that their reason is flawed and can't possibly be complete yet they refuse the help of God to correct it. It's like watching a man drowning but instead of clutching at the life preserver - the only flotation device available for rescue -he chucks it away because he wants a different preserver, preferring to clutch the anvil tied to chained around his neck that's dragging him down towards death to having the anvil's chain's broken. No one figures out the difference between the anvil and life preserver on their own. Some one has to point it out to us and some people who refuse to listen. It's not a perfect analogy but it's close. We must pray for them and thank God for the life preserver He gave us - Jesus.

Debunking Christianity: Scientists to Theologians: Put Up Or Shut Up!
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