Thursday, 7 March 2013

Living the life scientific

I'm enjoying engaging with someone who considers themselves to be an atheist at the moment. What makes it more fun is that they appear to have bought into the whole 'anti God - anti faith - anti religion' thing with a vengeance and assume that all the world's evils come from having a belief in something. Fun? Yes indeedy folks because their belief in things scientific!

It's quite amusing in that they consistently mock those who believe as the source of death, destruction and fundamentalism and put forward the idea that science is all about 'fact' and 'logic' and is the only rational way for mankind to be. In fact, science will eventually lead to the demise of religion as people come to see that it is only in science that mankind can be both saved and directed.

Now that sounds like a religion to me!

'Of course,' they tell me, 'science never killed anyone; it was religious people who did the killing. Science may have provided the means for the killing but it is pure and above the religious fanaticism that actually did the deed!'

Now this keeping one's hands clean is understandable and yet I find many cases where logic and rational thinking, separated from any idea of a religious influence or use, has brought about the death of many.

The other side of the coin is that whilst those who embrace a purely rational scientific faith have their outcomes and advances, it is more often than not the faith groups who are out their being altruistic in the many relief works and agencies. Thus we find the reality that religion is, like the Curate's egg, something in which 'not all of it is bad' and we can also see that not all of those things scientific are good either.

I'm going to have an attempt to dialogue with the new atheist issue - not because I want a fight but because I want to understand where they have a point (and some points are indeed valid) and where they have merely left their brains at the doorpost and believed blindly the modern prophets and purveyors of flawed logic and bitter misrepresentation.

So, let us reason together (for that is what Christian do - reason). Blind faith is as the name implies 'blind' and of little use to anyone!'



Anonymous said...

Should that not perhaps be "Living the lie scientific"?

Vic Van Den Bergh said...

And that's the first shot fired in the debate (and we haven't even started debating yet!).

Whoosh - a shot across the bows (and in range perhaps too!).

Good shot Sir (or perhaps Madam?)

Tim George said...

Many a 'non faith' regime or political system that has killed and oppressed many and some of these are rational/logical/scientific in nature.

The hands of the Atheist are no cleaner than those of believers over the ages. Interestingly, the beleiver side of the balance sheet acknowledges its wrongs - not so that of the atheist

DrJ said...

Good luck, but you may well find them as unbendingly stubborn as any religious fundamentalist, such is the nature of blind faith.
A few books that I have found helpful: The Twilight of Atheism, by Alister McGrath (I heard him on The Moral Maze last night when driving home - he said that we need a new C.S. Lewis, but that he could not do that job. Well, he might not be so accessible, but he comes pretty close for me.)
Lewis himself - I am currently reading "Miracles", and the opening chapters cover a lot of the philosophy of science that many modern scientists would do well to learn. In fact, if some of the modern Science-Leads-Inevitably-To-Atheism brigade had read and digested more of what Lewis has written, often before they were out of short trousers, they might have interpreted their own learning rather differently.
Finally, from the other side of the fence, as it were, Rocks of Ages by Stephen Jay Gould, though of course Gould is regarded with distrust through to contempt by many for being soft on religion!

If this is just a personal locking of horns, fine if you regard it as an enjoyable hobby, but you might otherwise want to consider if it is time well spent. I've engaged in a few such debates in online fora, not out of any great expectation of achieving anything with mu "opponent", but so that bystanders would not misinterpret my silence as evidence that I had nothing with which to counter the other's arguments.

Vic Van Den Bergh said...

Indeed they are perhaps more stubborn for despite their 'reason' label I fing most merely church out the same old same old stuff they've read and rarely apply any reason, logic or rigour to their arguments.

IAs for intended audience and intent - hopefully I will encourage dialogue and the development of an apologetic for some around me so that they will use brains and reason rather than quote Mire or some other telebibovangelist or pseudoscientific, creationist tosh like so many others.

(yep - I get frustrated by them ;-) )

Anonymous said...

I consider myself to be 99% athiest on a good day.

Jesus said if you have faith that's really small then you have faith, or indeed nothing if you don't have that really small faith. SO there's no showing off with that.

It's not good to live in denial.

p.s. Sorry for being anonymous today, my name is Rob and I live in buckinghamshire, England.