Does Science Argue For or Against God?

One of the online courses offered by Prager University asks that question.  The answer is that science doesn’t argue one way or another on the existence of God.

So why even talk about science and religion in the same context? For those who call themselves “creationists,” they try to do what liberals do. Liberals like to cloak their political nostroms in “science” so they can claim their agenda is not political. Creationists say they are advancing “creation science” so they can claim science proves the existence of God. Then they also claim that such flapdoodle as “intelligent design” competes equally as science along with Darwinian evolution.

One of the core freshman courses where I went to college was Philosphy of Religion. The preposition “of” is important in the name of that course. Philosophy and Religion is a different course entirely, a better one I might add. The course I took centered on the philosophical arguments for the existence of God. Turns out there are seven in all, only the first five were covered in the class.

They are the Ontological Argument; The First Cause Argument; The Cosmological Argument From Contingency; the Design Argument or the Telological Argument (Lots of Immanuel Kant in that one); the Consciousness Argument which claims that consciousnes proves that immatriel entities exist; and the two new ones that try to use science instead of philosophy to prove the existence of God. One claims we are living in a computer simulation run by hacker gods, and finally that aliens are our gods. Note that these two, the ones that rely on some sort of science, seem not even to follow the idea of Monotheism, once considered to be an advancement in human civilization and theology.

Never mind getting into the details of each one of those arguments. If life is not already sufficiently confusing to you, then you can look them up and I guarantee you will never be without all the confusion you’ll ever want.  Thomas Aquinas and St. Anslem were great and smart men but they do get a little hard to follow at times.

Somehow I got an A in Philosophy of Religion. It was entirely due to an early ability to commit to memory the words and phrase used by the professor or read in the books that were assigned for the class. I guarantee my grade did not reflect any greater understanding of philosophy, religion or science. I had none of that to offer in the composition I wrote for the final exam.

Mixing religion and philosophy is confusing at least. It can be stimulating to the brain, no doubt.  It can also lead to a scrambling of the brain.

Philosophy goes beyond hard science because philosophers have a license to speculate. That makes philosophy and religion at least cousins. Science also allows speculation but it is a much different sort of speculation and it follows some strict rules. Philosophical speculation follows no rules other than those derived from other disciplines such as logic and reason. Even those rules often seem incapable of holding the speculation within any logical boundaries. Aliens as gods? Hacker gods? Whoa, horsey.

The rules of scientific speculation must either follow the rules of the Scientific Method or suffer blistering and ultimately defeating ridicule. Such speculation without rules is based solely on faith, not science.  Science done wrong in this fashion becomes religion, and not a very good religion at that, or pseudo-science. That is what has happened to the “science” of global warming. It a substitute for religion for those who have abandoned religion.  Religion is a lot like human nature, maybe even a necessary component of human nature. When it is pushed out the front door it sneaks in through the back door, in a different and less salutary form.

I like Prager University and I believe some of its free online courses in political science and economic theory are excellent. I urge it to drop the course on whether science argues for or against God. It does neither.  I’m tempted to call this course in an otherwise fine list of courses to be the quintessential turd in a punch bowl.

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