If atheistic scientists argue that, since they are the scientists, we should just leave the science up to them, then shouldn’t they just leave God and religion up to the theologians and pastors?

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Some Food for Thought

  1. Interesting idea.

    I think the fatal flaw in the idea (at least as presented in the short post above) is that there are ‘theologians’ and ‘pastors’ who only nominally believe in the existence of God (if at all) that Joe Atheist can point to and say, “I’ll listen to him/her on all this ‘god’ stuff.”

  2. I’ve just always wondered. Because I’ll meet students on a campus who talk about science and say, “I’ve studied everythings…fossils this…planets that…etc.” Then, I look at them and say, “Okay, and I’ve looked at every religion and Jesus comes out on top 100% of the time.” Yet, they’ll give me a look like I’m the dumbest ape that ever walked on earth. Seems like a contradiction on their part. I could be wrong.

    And thanks for your point, Mike. Though, when I say pastors and theologian, I mean those who hold to the existence of God as religiously as atheists hold to whatever they confess (and they are religious, aren’t they?).

  3. And thanks for your point, Mike. Though, when I say pastors and theologian, I mean those who hold to the existence of God as religiously as atheists hold to whatever they confess (and they are religious, aren’t they?).

    We’re only to be considered ‘religious’ if you redefine ‘religious’ in such vague terms that the word itself becomes almost meaningless. If you’re going to do the intellectually honest thing and stick to a meaningful definition of the word ‘religious’ than no, atheists are not religious at all.

    Just wanted to clear that up.

    Back onto the topic at hand:

    If atheistic scientists argue that, since they are the scientists, we should just leave the science up to them, then shouldn’t they just leave God and religion up to the theologians and pastors?

    This conceivably might actually work if theologians and pastors weren’t so fond of claiming that Yahweh (or Zeus, or whoever) has delegated to themselves the authority to tell nonbelievers (atheists, agnostics, and the unafilliated Deists and Pantheists) what to do.

    For example, telling nonbelieving scientists not to engage in embryonic stem cell research not on valid ethical grounds – because there are already satisfactory ethical protections in place in science, and embryonic stem cell research violates none of them.

    For example, telling poverty-stricken and uneducated populations in rural south Africa that although aids is bad, condoms are worse – a policy that can only result in massive birth-rates (because abstinence education has been comprehensively shown to be ineffective at enforcing chastity) that will only result in the continuation of the current population explosion that is rapidly outstripping the food supply and will result in widespread starvation, suffering, and death.

    For example, trying to prevent American high school students from recieving a comprehensive education on the risks, dangers, and their countermeasures regarding human sexuality.

    For example, trying to take away a woman’s reproductive rights.

    For example, trying to take away a woman’s right to divorce.

    I could continue, but I think that’s enough. None of these things are from fringe groups or extremists. They are all fair representations of the intent of mainstream representatives of the mainstream sections of mainstream religions.

    In effect, if the theologians and pastors really did stop trying to shove their noses into the secular world and trying to tell us how to live our lives based on no evidence whatsoever then yes – I think that most scientists would be perfectly happy to leave religion alone.

    However, even if all of this were the case, at the heart of science beats strong the pursuit of truth for its own sake. It does not always live up to this ideal, but it is a noble pursuit nonetheless. And if scientists what to determine whether the propisition ‘God exists’ is true or false (or, more likely, validated or invalidated by the evidence) then it is their right, priveledge, and duty as scientists to ruthlessly pursue that line of inquiry wherever the evidence should lead.

  4. So are you saying (regarding your last paragraph) that religion is not a pursuit of truth? You seem to be implying that.

    Let’s examine Christianity. Jesus said, “I am the Way, Truth, and the Life.’ When he says that, he claims that he not only has the Truth, but that he is the Truth. And if he really is the truth (after all, we should look at the evidence), then it would lead to show that God actually has the right to tell nonbelievers what to do. But if you do not want to listen to or do research on the validity, sufficiency, or reliability of the Bible, then Jesus as “Truth” is a void point.

    Now of course, if Jesus said it, and it isn’t true, then Christianity is a hoax and billions of people over the course of world history were duped by a so-called “good teacher” who lied to them.

  5. So are you saying (regarding your last paragraph) that religion is not a pursuit of truth? You seem to be implying that.

    Implying? No. I’m flat out telling you.

    Religion relies upon ‘special revelation’ and ignoring any evidence to the contrary.

    Science instead rejects all forms of special pleading revelation and relies instead on evidence-based reasoning.

    Evidence-based reasoning is the superiror path to truth because there is no other way of distinguishing a genuine special revelation from the words of a convincing liar.

    Now of course, if Jesus said it, and it isn’t true, then Christianity is a hoax and billions of people over the course of world history were duped by a so-called “good teacher” who lied to them.

    Here you have a point, although I should point out that there are sound grounds for even being skeptical of whether or not Jesus even said it. Christian scripture bears all the hallmarks of being a man-made collection of urban legends compiled long after the events that they describe for the convienience of the men doing the compiling. I agree that the New Testament is very likely based on a set of real events, but whether or not the truth of those events bear any resemblance to the biblical account of them is another question entirely.

    Secondly, even if Jesus did say it, that wouldn’t make his good points any less good. The things Jesus said can stand on their own merits – they do not need the authority of Jesus – or Yahweh – to be considered worthy of our attention and respect.

Join the Conversation

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s