Scientism and the Faith of an Atheist

Science doesn’t answer big questions. The why questions.

However, Science does demonstrate very long odds that all this “just happened by chance.”

Life on this planet in a rare event.  That the universe to exist at all is amazing.  The four forces.  These issues of fine tuning of all variables in our universe — varying any one of which would throw life and the Universe out of existence — provides credibility that God exists in and created the Universe.

 

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Two points from scientific naturalism (atheism):

1.  The natural world is all there is.

This claim is consistent logically equivalent to atheism.  One can’t logically prove atheism or that the natural world is all there is.  How could one prove that there is nothing beyond the natural world, when all they can study is the natural world (and nothing more)?

The only way the naturalists could hold this claim #1 is by faith.  But then the naturalists would contradict claim #2.   Indeed, claim #1 is internally incoherent.

2.  We should only believe what can be scientifically proven.

This second point is far too narrow.  In fact, we accept many intuitive truths that can’t be proven.

Can’t prove these truths:

1) Ethics:  can’t prove good and evil.  2) Esthetics: can’t prove beauty.  3) Metaphysics: the reality of the past.  4) Science itself has unproveable assumptions: Special Theory of Relativity, one-way velocity of light is assumed to be constant. 5) Mathematics and logic truths:  Science presupposes logic and math.

Even statement #2 itself can’t be proven scientifically.  Statement #2 is an opinion or statement of philosophy.  #2 is self-refuting and cannot be true.

William Lane Craig at his best in under 3 minutes:

Great points in 1.5 minutes:

Less than 2.5 minutes:

Awesome demolition in a little over 5 minutes:

Elder Holland, attending the 50th anniversary celebration of discovering chiasmus in the Book of Mormon, gave this talk on evidence:

John Lennox (see video below) has debated the biggest names among today’s atheists.

Christians should have an evidence base for belief in Christ.  John told us of Jesus’ actions so that we might believe.

John 20 : 30-31

30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

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Lennox makes several points from atheist debates:

1) Belief in Christianity is based in evidence — not blind faith.  Review John 20: 30-31 again.

2) Atheists claim to not have faith, but Lennox has challenged many atheists this way: “I’m sorry, but I thought you believed your atheism.”

3) Dawkins believes in or has faith in stuff, including his wife.  Evidence-based faith is still faith.

4) Traditional Christians don’t believe God was created (Mormons theology involves progression).  Dawkins constantly teases, “Who created your Creator?”  Lennox says nobody. Dawkins believes the Universe created him.  So, Lennox asked Dawkins, “Who created your (Dawkins’) creator?”  Still waiting for an answer.

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Top issues:

1) We don’t believe in the God of the Gaps.

2) Science and God are compatible and complimentary:

  •  To say you don’t believe in God, but rather you believe in Science is analogous to saying you don’t believe in Henry Ford, but instead you believe in the laws of internal combustion.  The God explanation is not the same as the Science explanation.  You, obviously, should believe in both.
  • Why is the kettle boiling?  There are 2 explanations: a scientific one about molecules.  And a personal agent explanation:  it’s boiling because I want a cup of tea.

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3) The Law of Gravity describes gravity, but descriptive laws do not create anything.  Ever.  We don’t even know what what gravity is.  However, Steven Hawking and other secular scientists would have you believe laws daily create matter and the entire Universe.  Not true.

4)  God created the world good.  God could have created a perfect world, but none of us would have been in it.  A world without hate will have no love.  Robotic worlds lack sin and many other problems, but they have no humans.  Bringing humans into the world is a risky business.  God’s children can grow up and say no.  Just like our kids.

Another discussion with John Lennox on faith and reason.  Faith of believers.  Faith of atheists.  What is the evidence?  What of blind faith?

Bill Whittle and Andrew Klavan (Christian, former Jew) discuss the limits of Science and atheism.

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At the 5:10 mark in the video below, Bill says when someone says “I believe in Science” you immediately know they don’t know what they’re talking about.  Science is a tool.  Like a hammer.  So, when they exclaim, “I believe in Science,” they’re really saying, “I believe in a hammer.”

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Science is not a philosophy.  It’s not a world view.   It’s a method.  It’s a series of questions, processes, and procedures to isolate variables and extract something out of nature.

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Scientism or Trans-science:  popularized by the new atheists, such as Harris, Hitchens, Dawkins, and Dennett.  An arrogant belief in objectivism — won’t believe anything other than Science — that itself becomes a religion.

What of Philosophy, Art, Ethics, and other obvious truths we can’t prove?

We can’t understand infinity or eternity.  We simply lack the neurons.

Worth 12 minutes of your time.

More from William Lane Craig:

Scientism is not Science.  It’s a theory.  It’s a philosophy.

The statement itself — one should only believe in what can be scientifically proven — is self-refuting.  One can’t prove one should believe this.  It’s a philosophy statement or belief — not something that itself can be proven.

Can’t prove these truths:

1) Ethics:  can’t prove good and evil.  2) Esthetics: can’t prove beauty.  3) Metaphysics: the reality of the past.  4) Science itself has unprovable assumptions: Special Theory of Relativity, one-way velocity of light is assumed to be constant. 5) Mathematics and logic truths:  Science presupposes logic and math.

Fun interchange.  William Lane Craig (on the left) is a skilled debater.  Too bad he’s not LDS.

Another gem by WLC on God.  Now, I don’t agree with all of Craig’s arguments, but the discussion is wonderful.

Blind Faith in General and Atheists’ Blind Faith

Elder Bruce Hafen gave this talk in early 2017 at BYU-Hawaii:  “Faith is Not Blind.”

Atheists often accuse believers of blind faith.  Faith without a shred of evidence!

This, unfortunately, may be true in some cases. Just as it’s true for many uneducated atheists who have not deeply contemplated their positions. After all, many atheists were raised in atheist homes, and have not been challenged.

But it isn’t true in my case or for many I know.  Indeed, we should all develop our beliefs in an environment of faith and reason.  Study and prayer.  Blind faith is untested faith.

Faith, reason,  and evidence are closely bound together.

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Learning and study enhances belief. Faith (belief) and reason (study) are complementary.  Not mutually exclusive. The scriptures support this position.

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God wants us to have faith,  but not blind faith.  Developed, nurtured faith isn’t blind.

Faith in your wife, after years of loyalty in marriage, is neither blind faith. Not at all, though it’s still faith! 

The Apostle John (see John 20:30-31 below) included some — but not nearly all — of the events in Jesus’ life so that we might believe in Him.  That thereby we might have eternal life.

In other words, understanding Jesus’ life, miracles, and teachings helps us believe.  John didn’t want us to believe blindly.

John himself was an eye witness.  Consequently, John shared the best evidence from Jesus’ life so our faith would be anything but blind!  He shared evidence so our faith would be evidence based. 

John 20:30-31 King James Version (KJV)

30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Lennox below makes a good case that atheists themselves exercise faith. Just as believers do.  Faith in the rational intelligibility of the Universe.

And, given their view — that evolution is a mindless, unguided process — they shouldn’t trust their own minds and the Science they produce.

But they do. Blindly!  Oh, the irony!

In a 2-minute segment below watch John Lennox discuss this topic of faith and blind faith with a very uncomfortable Richard Dawkins.

Dawkins is arguably the most militant atheist living.  Atheists believe in faith.  Don’t let them convince you otherwise.

Lennox argues that faith is based in evidence.  Dawkins says faith is only present where there is no evidence.  John points out that Richard Dawkins also exercises faith.  Faith in his wife, given past actions/loyalties.

Lennox is a brilliant, kind, and talented teacher.

Science developed in Western Europe precisely because Christians believed in a law giver.

In China and other areas, there was no unifying concept of a Creator.  The Gods, if they did believe in one or more, we’re capricious. One couldn’t systematically learn of the Universe.

Alvin Plantingsa asserts evolution itself undermines naturalism (more extreme form of atheism).

 

How Can A Scientist Believe Jesus is God?

You could just as easily ask “How can any thinking person believe in God”?  Atheists and critics ask this question all the time.

It’s interesting that we know so little about such basic things. The brightest scientists can’t explain what energy is. Or consciousness. Or many other things. We should be very humble as we learn line upon line.

John Lennox is a very articulate Protestant from Northern Ireland who’s ably defended Christianity against Richard Dawkins and other new atheists. I don’t agree w/ Lennox on the Trinity, but do on so many other counts. I’m grateful for his brilliant mind and love for Jesus.