A Conversation With Rodney
Hi all—I am quite busy today and will not have time to write a post. However, I invite you all to a discussion. Months ago I wrote a post called Can’t You Atheists Keep Your Opinions to Yourself? No I Cannot. This post still receives several hundred reads per day and occasionally people still leave comments. Yesterday and this morning a fellow named Rodney left a few comments that are worth discussing. I feel his comment is worth addressing, as a separate post because his points are ones that I often encounter when discussing science and religion with theists. I responded briefly to his first comment, but honestly do not have time right now to get into greater detail. I am going to post the exchange we have had so far. I invite you all to discuss. To Rodney—I will make my best effort to try and respond as well tonight.
Rodney: The unfortunate circumstance — to no fault of your own — is that the only religions an atheist like yourself can use or have really experienced are your garden variety Western religions/applications. Which, to say the least, are highly unphilosophical, obnoxiously dogmatic, and dramatically sentimental. There are definitely a few points I would have to disagree with in your statements/opinions which are not philosophical arguments for the existence or non-existence of God. However, for the sake of time, I will just stick with number two. Science is just as faith-based as religion — if not more because they claim to be based on facts. And the fact of the matter is, there are so many things that Science claims to know, and because the faith in Science has become so strong that they are no longer able to see past their blind spots. Science only makes theories, and the process by which a theory is proven is to disprove all opposing theories. However, it never is actually is able to prove the main theory that is in place factually using the very method they claim religions don’t acquire knowledge. The “scientific” method is to formulate a question, hypothesis, prediction, TEST, RESULT. How many of these so called scientific facts (evolution, abiogensis, big bang, etc.) have actually been proven by a repeatable experiment in a laboratory. The answer is absolutely 100% zero. Science says they can create life from matter. How many times has that happened? 100% zero. However, everything a scientist beliefs in is fact and not based on faith.
So then you ask the sincere honest question, well how does that prove a God or Intelligent Designer? It completely doesn’t, but that is not what I am arguing to prove. That would be a different discussion. I merely want people to see that Science does not have it figured out, and garden variety Western religions are merely sentimentalist philosophies to make people feel good. Btw, just in case you were wondering what the definition of a theory was: A supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, esp. one based on general principles independent of the thing to be…: “Darwin’s theory of evolution”
I could go on and on, however, I think that you should take time to reflect, and not be a garden variety Atheist with no philosophical understanding of empiricism, atheism, or naturalism. And then, go on to understand the limitations of holding such views. Because in a very big way, atheism today and so -called scientists are just as philosophically diminished and sentimental as the religions they argue against.
Me: Rodney—I find your comment quite interesting and to be honest, typical apologetic styled silliness. First you patronize me pretty well with the ‘unfortunate circumstances, no fault of my own” stuff, then proceed to be pedantic and condescending throughout the rest of your comment. It is typical, but not going to work here, particularly when you are either dishonest in your statements or clueless as to what you are talking about. Your statement about atheists “like me” only having a use for Western religions is pure nonsense. I dislike all religion, but write mostly on the religion that is dominant in my country–Christianity. In no way does that fact imply that I dislike them any more than I dislike some Eastern religions. Further your selecting the word “use” is quite interesting, and even implies something sinister. Probably, through “no fault of your own” of course….see how nasty that little phrase can be?
Your treatment of science is what most concerns me. You either have no idea how science works or are dishonest in your presentation of it. To even write the phrase, “science is just as faith-based as relgion–if not more…” is perhaps the most ignorant statement that has been left on this blog. However, it is a common argument among the seasoned apologist. You go on to give a nonsensical justification for that statement full of logical fallacies, and then use the absurd statement, “science only makes theories”. Again you either do not know what a scientific theory entails or are are misrepresenting it. You then interject some god stuff into the middle and a foolish attempt to justify your previous statement on theories. You then mostly accurately quote, probably from a dictionary, part of the real definition of a scientific theory. Very interesting and either quite ignorant of your own mistake or quite a devious and quick slight of hand apologetic trick. You create a straw man version of science, attack it to shreds (which is fine because your portrayal of it in no reflects how science works), then you come in at the end and imply two things a) that I do not know what I am talking about and b) a fairly comprehensive definition of a theory, but you leave out the fact that once something is at the level of a theory, it is basically factual. It can and must make predictions.
Lastly, you go back to the patronizing nonsense. In short Rodney, I think–though cannot prove, that you just wrote a comment that would make the likes of William Lane Craig or Lee Strobel proud. It sounded intelligent, sounded sincere, but really was nothing more than a dishonest slight of hand trick to discredit atheism and science in one fell swoop. That won’t work here.
Rodney: I apologize. You are right my statement was very condescending. My intent is not to completely discredit science or atheism, but merely to express the limitations of holding such philosophies in an absolute way. My sentiment is that Science has become a very broad overarching term that has come to incapsulate all reason or reasoning, therefore; everything a Scientist has said is somehow conclusively proven or should be believed with an extremely high regard while anything a religious person (not your garden-variety Christians or confused Catholics) says, is completely false and faith-based. There is a lot of faith that exists within a Scientific philosophy as well, and really just to live life in general. This is not apologetics. This is fact. And to quote the godfather of naturalism/athiesm himself.
“With me, the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?” – Charles Darwin
Therefore, with that said, please conclusively show me a few things that would make me a complete naturalistic athiest and resolve my doubts.
1. Show me an instance where Science has created life (consciousness) from chemicals.
2. Show me conclusively proof for macroevolution and how it started with a single-celled organism and evolved to the very beings that we are today
3. Show me the principle of falsifiability for a natuarlistic philosophy
My personal belief is that since Science claims to have it all figured out, atleast to the extent that they feel the neccessity to discredit any sort of notion of God (this is different than religion or practical application), these questions should be easy. Otherwise, my contention is that if you can not answer these questions, then you hold a philosophy about the origins of these things that are just contenders to make sense of natural world.
Please have a great discussion while I am tied up today/tonight.
Thanks for reading. I look forward to your comments.
If you have a blog please feel free to promote it on my “Promote Your Blog” page above.
I invite you to follow me on Twitter @logicalbeing
If you would like to share your story of how you became an atheist, please do that on my “Share your Atheism Story” forum. Our stories may help to encourage others with similar feelings to know that life is more than just okay without god(s).
If you have not yet checked out Alltop.com’s Atheism Blogs….what are you waiting for?