Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Reflections on Francis Bacon: 2009

Often disagreements about God degenerate into shouting matches because the participants aren't there to discuss, they are there to live out a revenge fantasy against those who have taken away their faith in God, or made them have the faith in the first place.

The deists think the proponents of science are like they themselves used to be, people who have given in to doubt but not yet repented. The hard-core atheists think the deists are like they used to be, proponents of ideas that will lead to shameful self-realizations. Both are worried about backsliding and science gets stuck in the middle.

But what neither of them understand is that some of us have faith in science; we haven't given up our faith as either of them have, we never lost it. And I call it faith because of the enormity of the questions we seek to answer and the inadequacy of the tools with which we seek to answer them: our fragile human reason and our frail human senses.

9 comments:

chickenlittle said...

Often disagreements about God degenerate into shouting matches because the participants aren't there to discuss, they are there to live out a revenge fantasy against those who have taken away their faith in God, or made them have the faith in the first place.

Odd, when I was going through the training in sciences, I was exposed to an awful lot of "revenge fantasy" against organized religion based on what the Church had done to Galileo. The teaching was something like: "you were so wrong for so long-we'll show you." And so it went.

But what neither of them understand is that some of us have faith in science; we haven't given up our faith as either of them have, we never lost it. And I call it faith because of the enormity of the questions we seek to answer and the inadequacy of the tools with which we seek to answer them: our fragile human reason and our frail human senses.

Well that's a nice way to co-opt the language and message of religion for the sake of science. I'm not sure that your sentiment is novel, but you're the first to espouse before my eyes.

dr kill said...

Dude, call it whatever you wish, talk about how impossible are the questions, and how difficult the answers, how fragile are reason and senses--- but in my highly over-educated opinion people of religious faith keep asking these questions because they don't like the answers that real scientific inquiry gives.

Real science demands an open mind, real faith requires a closed mind.

Which is fine with me, I will defend your right to believe anything you want to the death. But don't make more out of life than there is. There is nothing special about life, and nothing after life ends. And I'm fine with that.

And, like Zach says, I still love you.

Jason (the commenter) said...

chickenlittle: Odd, when I was going through the training in sciences, I was exposed to an awful lot of "revenge fantasy" against organized religion based on what the Church had done to Galileo. The teaching was something like: "you were so wrong for so long-we'll show you." And so it went.

I've really only had recent conversations with deists on this topic, maybe I need more exposure to die-hard atheists to further fill in their possible motivations. I think from the reactions we see we need to think of something intensely personal, so I did my best.

I'm not sure that your sentiment is novel, but you're the first to espouse before my eyes.

Thanks! I was thinking that the people whose faith was shaken, they are just trying to blame someone else for the sins against God that they committed, their own personal defilement of their souls.

And, science isn't incompatible with the idea of God at all. Prove God exists and science would keep on going; there are plenty of religious people who are scientists. Lot's of people who built the foundations of science were religious. I don't think we ever give them their due in these conversations.

Trooper York said...

Hey Jason just know the baby Jesus loves you and his mom will look after you no matter what.

It might not look like it at the time but in time you will understand.

amba said...

I continue to suspect that as we learn more -- through science, vision, the arrival of ETs, or however -- our conceptions of both God and evolution are going to come to seem quite primitive.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Trooper York: Hey Jason just know the baby Jesus loves you and his mom will look after you no matter what.

Of course!

Jason (the commenter) said...

amba: I continue to suspect that as we learn more -- through science, vision, the arrival of ETs, or however -- our conceptions of both God and evolution are going to come to seem quite primitive.

That's a good train of thought. Imagine an ET comes down claiming a proof for the existence of God and then speaks non-stop for twenty years reciting the entire proof. Would that do anyone any good?

People already can't handle the concepts we have and I don't have anything to say about God, but I do have stuff to say about psychology.

Trooper York said...

ET? WTF?

What does Mary Hart have to do with God?

Trooper York said...

In fact Mary Hart's sucess is the best evidence I have seen that there is no God.