“There is no God.” – is a statement of faith, not of science. Really, the statement is an assertion.
People who self identify as atheists often think that science supports their chosen position or is “on their side”. True, many in the scientific community are atheists and others say they are agnostic. And, that is the danger. Those people of science have much prestige and command much respect in today’s world. Yet, science has its limitations. (Gasp) Yes, it really does have limitations albeit you rarely hear such talk from those in science.
Science is not competent to make a determination on the existence or non-existence of God. Why? Science deals with the physically observable and the physically measurable. Anything that is not physical or does not give detectable evidence of physical characteristics cannot be detected, observed or measured by science. (We are including here non-material electro-magnetic energy as being physical for purpose of our discussion.)
To deny the possibility of the existence of the Spiritual is not scientific. For those scientists, technicians and engineers who are intellectually honest, there should be no difficulty with this admission. (As well, we do not attempt to link the Spiritual with quantum mechanics or so-called Dark Matter or Dark Energy.) The honest (full disclosure) response by those in science is: “Science cannot answer the question as to God’s existence because science is not able to. The question and answer fall outside the realm of science.” When those in science attempt to answer the question of God’s existence, they cannot rely on science and must invoke reason (or for some, emotion), logic, philosophy, etc. Their answers may be no more than conjecture and mental speculation. This is something to bear in mind.
We must be careful not to allow our great respect for science, and our infatuation with its many discoveries in recent decades, to serve to make science into something it is not. Science is not, and cannot be, all-knowing, nor is it infallible (just study the history of science). Science is not competent to address questions of human purpose and meaning in life. Science is not the final arbiter on many questions and challenges facing modern man. Science and scientific progress should be thought of as aids to man and not as ends in themselves. Science is not a substitute for spiritual faith or even for religious belief. Let us not turn our respect for science and scientists into scientism. A healthy skepticism of, and objectivity towards science is appropriate. We have cautioned readers on this blog in past posts that humans need to govern their religious fervor with reason or risk degenerating into fanaticism. Similarly, people need to be careful not to give science and scientists undue deference.
Even the human intellect has limitations. A humbling thought to be sure.
The atheist position that there is no God is not a scientific position. The atheist makes a statement of faith (or, perhaps we could call it “anti-faith”) and cannot honestly say that science supports such a statement. The new atheism that goes even further and asserts that God cannot possibly exist shows a close mindedness that is fanatical and anti-scientific.
Just food for thought.
We will be addressing a related issue in the near future. Stay tuned.
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