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August 24, 2008

Science and religion

Reading the New Scientist letters pages for this week has provided an interesting insight into the minds of those who refuse to see any value in faith and write God off as a "fantasy figure not worthy of scientific consideration". Having watched Richard Dawkins make a real meal of trying to "prove" that all life is an accident and not influenced at all by any form of God - his catch phrase was throughout "Who needs a god to do this?" - I have to wonder what those like him are afraid of. They make such desperate attempts to discredit any form of belief system, but particularly any form of Christian faith, that one has to ask, why are they so anti-God? Are they afraid that their "Reason" might not be enough and that "faith" based moral codes may, after all, prove necessary?

The letters page has a section in which the atheist lobby are attacking New Scientist for giving column space to a report on the Templeton Foundations plan to use funding to try and scientifically "prove" that God is real. Personally I can't see them succeeding since every "test" they can apply scientifically is probably not going to give the results it would get if applied to something physical. Secondly, what difference will it make to those who deny God's existence? Not a lot I would suggest since that lobby will simply fund a raft of new research to "prove" that the results of the first set of research was flawed. Those who will not believe in anything other than their own reason are as blinkered as those who will not accept that much of the Bible is allegorical and must be read in context with the society that created it if we are to understand it at all.

As for the argument advanced by many of the correspondents who rain abuse on any form of faith adherence at every opportunity, that mankind does not need faith to exercise moral and ethical restraint, I would say that there are any number of examples of utterly depraved science based attrocities that defy any form of ethics or morality to refute their argument. Two examples spring immediately to mind - the work of a Russian biologist who attempted to breed a human/ape hybrid in the 1920's as part of the Great Socialist attempt to brred competitiveness out of the Russian people and develop a "model" "worker". It failed, thankfully. The second is the experiments of Doctor Mengele and others on twins and on human beings to determine how much trauma a body could absorb before death occured. All in the name of science of course, and no doubt supported by a barrage of "reasonable" arguments. Like the famous Socialist mantra that runs "Some must lose out in any effort to improve the lot of the majority." Well we all know who the losers are usually - everybody but the "leader" making that "rationalist" statement.

Christianity as we practice it and as it has been abused over the centuries, certainly has its faults, but it has given us a moral code and a set of ethics which have shaped the modern wortld and will continue to do so. In one sense I hope that the Templeton Foundation's experiments do find the "proof" they want - if only to be able to say "Told you so!" the next time I'm confronted with an arrogant "Scientific Rationalist". Given the speed with which our scientific knowledge is changing the great "truths" of science and the lack of progress in actually understanding some of the most basic matters that run our universe - I ain't holding my breath!

Posted by The Gray Monk at August 24, 2008 08:32 PM

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