A common response to the atheist’s proclamation that the burden of proof rests on the outrageous claim of religion, is the theist’s declaration of categorical separation between the areas of existence religion explains, versus those of science. It is to suggest that, science covers its range of questions, and religion, another area. The omitting of science from being a force for explanation, is the assertion that some answers are not within range of logical interpretation. This, in addition to, religion presuming exclusive rights to some of the answers to these question, is just poor use of brain activity. Here are some examples of questions, supposedly outside the realm of science…
How do you know you love your wife?
What do colors taste like?
Why have the overwhelming majority of people who’ve ever existed, believe in God?
Who designed the universe?
Lets start at the top…
1. How do you know you love your wife?
A. Because one feels a level of contentment sufficient enough to presume love. Endorphins, oxytocin, and other chemicals reward certain scenarios that may be advantageous to the survival of our genes. We live in small family herds and nurture and raise our offspring, as this directly lessens fatality rates. This is very straightforward in a Darwinian sense.
2. What do colors taste like?
A. There are actually people on the planet who can do this, however my answer pertains to the rest of us. This is supposed to be a philosophical question that science cannot answer. (By the way, not all questions are real questions just because you can make a valid sentence with non-sense…like if the question was, ‘what do colors think?’) Anyway, here’s your scientific answer. We don’t know what colors taste like, just as we don’t know what it sounds like on Pluto. That doesn’t mean, through research, we cannot get a better idea about the answer. And even if we could not, that doesn’t not create a religious exclusivity to the question.
To demand some areas untouchable by science is rather presumptuous coming from people who selectively discard scientific rationality, and then summon it when it suits their beliefs. Here’s a scenario… Imagine yourself in the bronze age. A close relative develops schizophrenia. This condition was not understood at this time. How could you explain the cause of this curious condition? With no scientific medical knowledge, by all accounts. we would and have. assumed a religious answer. Afterall, then current, medical knowledge was, at that time, far from the answer. It was obviously the devil possessing the relative. Of course, later on, by scientific means, we now know that it wasn’t god afterall. This is an example of how a religious question becomes a scientific one, as if god decided to reveal his holy magic trick. Astronomy is a good place to look for countless examples of these.
3. So why have the overwhelming majority of people whom have ever existed, believe in a god?
A. First off, I must say, that if you subscribe to religious dogma from a specific religion, and maintain the idea that your particular religion is the true faith, the fact that so many religions have existed doesn’t look good on your behalf. But the the comparably vague deist, lets address this question. To say that most people believed in god is incomplete. Most people believed in mysticism. It wasn’t that history is cluttered with people who believed in a non-dogmatic entity that created the big bang. These people believed in human sacrifice, witches, magic potions, evil spirits, homosexually inspired natural disasters, sea monsters, curses, spirits, angels, banshees, demons, the devil and so on. To suggest that because the vast majority of all people believed in angels doesn’t make a strong point for god. Usually those mystical outlooks contained a god or gods as there was no better explanation at the time. Of course a civilization, from a pre-Darwinian time, would not know any better as there wasn’t an alternative explanation until just 150 years ago. It was with careful observation that we now know the earth isn’t flat, that we’re not in the center of the universe, and that life results in complexity by gradual steps from simplicity. This idea can seem foreign to the observable mechanics of human life and behavior. However, quantum mechanics is strange and unlike anything we can relate to as well, but this doesn’t void its reality. And trust me, quantum theory is predictably accurate to a degree that would startle god. Actually if there is anything more strange than quantum theory, it would be the church of ladder day saints.
4. Who created the universe? Did it just come out of nothing?
A. I’ve addressed the improbability of god in my post entitled “no prevalence in the absence of physical laws” I’ll restated the idea, as I think its extremely important. God cannot exist in space/time as this makes him finite. It is consequentially believed, that god exists outside space/time. A hypothetical system outside space/time is a zero information system, as it pertains to human perception of it. In a zero information system, no prediction can be accurate as all outcomes remain possible This includes the assumption that the zero information system is in any way related to our space/time. No prediction about any information has prevalence over any other which makes it infinitely improbable to accurately predict the dynamics of a such hypothesized system, including it’s relationship to space/time as we know it. You got that?
Also I better say something about questions regarding evolution and its place for the science of human behavior, and neat stuff like that. There is so much evidence for evolution, you’ll shit your pants trying to lift it all. Bending at the knees, by the way, will not prevent this. There is much we, in a Darwinian sense, know about human behavior, however, we don’t have every answer. But our collection of answers is ongoing. Here’s an analogy to help explain. Say evolution was a puzzle. And the picture on this puzzle was the Mona Lisa. If 75 percent of the picture was revealed, you bet your ass you’d know that the picture was the Mona Lisa. In fact you’d know much sooner than 75 percent. So Charles Darwin paints a picture in the origin of species (a fine read, by the way) And we have 90 percent of the picture pieced together from massive amounts of evidence, and some people are still denying the content of the picture. Leave it to a homosapien to be in denial. (…or ignorant, I’d wager most creationists to not properly understand evolution at all.)
And it takes only one revealing fossil or irreducibly complex chunk or organic matter to debunk evolution altogether and this has yet to be found. It’s as evasive as Noah’s ark it seems. And perhaps as elusive as the creationist hiding in its own manufactured categories it needs to separate itself, so as to not look stupid standing next to science. There are no religious exclusives.
And while I’m here I’ll tell you another thing. If you think that you have a personal relationship with Jesus, you live the same placebo as the Muslim around the block. If you think that our morals were shaped, thanks to the abrahamic faiths, than you’ve not considered that the dogma and text surrounding the abrahamic religions, might have been shaped by the very morals themselves. That these religions could have been the product of a natural process of our consciously evolving morals that historically seem to self-correct and update, independent of sacred text. And by the way, since morals evolve, and quick enough that we can see it happening, why would god not instill the the right morals in us, in the first place? Why do we have to have human rights movements to treat black people the same? or women? or homosexuals? or atheists?! Way to go god. You see Jesus wasn’t against slavery (Luke 12:47) it took human beings to figure out that it was bad. Anyway, i digress… I’ll close by revealing a true scientific achievement made by religion –
“Science was not the first to clone a dumb sheep, religion was.”