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Discussion 8 to Talk Back 86
Science is a Religion

by: Rob Lockett

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JT, your comments are expected. And for the record, I do not believe that the definition of science will be changed meaningfully to accommodate my philosophical views. If it were, then the book of Revelation would prove false according to my interpretation of it. ‘Materialism’ will be exalted as God and ultimate truth (though never overtly). You’re on the winning team, so congratulations…

Even so, what I say is true whether you believe it or not. Religion is philosophy. And science (methodological naturalism) is philosophy. It may not view reality as a personal God (a ‘who’); rather, it views reality as the material existence (a ‘what’).

That is the only distinction between ‘religion’ and ‘science’. Both believe in a sovereign reality that is unchanging and absolute. That’s what ‘God’ means!

So the issue isn’t whether or not there is a god. The issue is over god’s nature be it personal and living God, or a impersonal material existence.

Science is based on faith. And if you want to insist that science is not religion, then you have that right. But it is…

And since you support ‘Science’ with such zeal, you do believe in a god. It is simply not a living god. It is a nature god.

Listen to how Paul Davies summarized the problem in a New York Times OpEd piece in Nov 2007. Use the link for the full article: (http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/davies07/davies07_index.html )

“Clearly, then, both religion and science are founded on faith — namely, on belief in the existence of something outside the universe, like an unexplained God or an unexplained set of physical laws, maybe even a huge ensemble of unseen universes, too. For that reason, both monotheistic religion and orthodox science fail to provide a complete account of physical existence.

This shared failing is no surprise, because the very notion of physical law is a theological one in the first place, a fact that makes many scientists squirm. Isaac Newton first got the idea of absolute, universal, perfect, immutable laws from the Christian doctrine that God created the world and ordered it in a rational way. Christians envisage God as upholding the natural order from beyond the universe, while physicists think of their laws as inhabiting an abstract transcendent realm of perfect mathematical relationships.

And just as Christians claim that the world depends utterly on God for its existence, while the converse is not the case, so physicists declare a similar asymmetry: the universe is governed by eternal laws (or meta-laws), but the laws are completely impervious to what happens in the universe.

It seems to me there is no hope of ever explaining why the physical universe is as it is so long as we are fixated on immutable laws or meta-laws that exist reasonlessly or are imposed by divine providence. The alternative is to regard the laws of physics and the universe they govern as part and parcel of a unitary system, and to be incorporated together within a common explanatory scheme.

In other words, the laws should have an explanation from within the universe and not involve appealing to an external agency. The specifics of that explanation are a matter for future research. But until science comes up with a testable theory of the laws of the universe, its claim to be free of faith is manifestly bogus.”

Paul Davies is not an intelligent design advocate. But he does understand what I am saying. He knows which side he is committed to. The question to you as an agnostic is… what ‘seal’ or ‘mark’ will you commit yourself to?

To die undecided is to die with the default mark of us all; the mark of the flesh and the material as it were.

John 3:6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'

Sincerely, Rob

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