Intelligent Design Psychology Religion Science

Rodney Stark: A social scientist who begged to differ with the “distinguished bigots” on faith and science

Spread the love

Social scientist Rodney Stark offers an alternative to the Sunday magazine truisms about the relationship between Christianity and science:

The basis for much of the antipathy toward Christianity is the image of the medieval Catholic Church fostered by “distinguished bigots,” as Stark calls Edward Gibbon and Voltaire among other Enlightenment notables. Stark, relying on primary source historians like the renowned Marc Bloch, shows, on the contrary, that medieval Catholicism was the breeding ground for modernity.

Most, if not all, ancient societies believed in fate. However, Yahweh gave humans the wondrous and terrifying attribute of free will, freedom. Individual freedom in the West then merged with the legacy of Athenian democracy and the Roman republican tradition to form “the new democratic experiments in the medieval Italian city-states,” as Stark reminds us.

These rival polities organized the first universities in a unique tradition of institutional learning and discourse which began at Bologna then spread to Oxford, Paris and elsewhere in Europe. From the medieval university science was born.

The distinguished philosopher and mathematician, Alfred North Whitehead, astonished a Harvard audience in 1925 when he said that science is a “derivative of medieval theology [since it arose] from the medieval insistence on the rationality of God, conceived as with the personal energy of Jehovah and with the rationality of a Greek philosopher.”Terry Scambray, “No False Gods Before Me: A Review of Rodney Stark’s Work” at New English Review

The Sunday mag truisms are more popular because they involve no hard thinking.

Follow UD News at Twitter!

See also: Psychology: Study of religion takes evidence-based turn. Association with things most people see as positive does not, of course, make a religion “true.” It does, however, make one wonder about the perspective of psychologists who don’t seem able to recognize the pattern.

15 Replies to “Rodney Stark: A social scientist who begged to differ with the “distinguished bigots” on faith and science

  1. 1
    Ed George says:

    Science wasn’t invented by Christianity. Any culture that developed, improved and used technology participated in the scientific process. Christianity certainly made a significant contribution, but so did Islam, China, Japan, the Mayans, Incans and capitalists.

    To poke the hornet’s nest, I would assert that warfare and aggression have contributed more to science than any religion has.

  2. 2
    buffalo says:

    @ed george

    Which one’s knew the universe to be intelligent, rational and worthy of study?

  3. 3
    ronvanwegen says:

    To Ed George:
    The development, improvement and use of technology has little to do with the scientific method as we know it today. Science (to paraphrase the late Stanley Jaki) was stillborn in many societies whereas Christianity provided the nurturing womb from which it sprung. Science required the rationality of a benevolent God to allow us to “think His thoughts after Him”.

    If you want to “poke the hornet’s nest” you’d better be prepared to get stung!

  4. 4
    Ed George says:

    Buffalo

    Which one’s knew the universe to be intelligent, rational and worthy of study?

    I don’t know. Do you?

  5. 5
    Seversky says:

    ronvanwegen @ 3

    Science (to paraphrase the late Stanley Jaki) was stillborn in many societies whereas Christianity provided the nurturing womb from which it sprung.

    Science flourished for a period in other societies without the dubious benefits of Christianity. You could say that the latest iteration of science was fostered by European Christianity but it is only distinctly un-Christian hubris that claims that science could not exist without it.

    Science required the rationality of a benevolent God to allow us to “think His thoughts after Him”.

    This is the same “benevolent” God who is supposed to have wiped out almost all life on Earth because it displeased Him, an irrational act if ever there was one, given that as an omniscient and omnipotent deity He should have foreseen the problem and taken whatever corrective measures He thought necessary without going to the extreme lengths of genocide – should that be biocide?

  6. 6
    Ed George says:

    RV

    The development, improvement and use of technology has little to do with the scientific method as we know it today.

    That might be a surprise to many.

    Science required the rationality of a benevolent God to allow us to “think His thoughts after Him”.

    I believe in God, but I don’t believe this. He gave us free will to think thoughts beyond what he wants us to think, with the hope that we wouldn’t. Science is that fine line between the two.

    If you want to “poke the hornet’s nest” you’d better be prepared to get stung!

    Sting away. 🙂

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Please note that Seversky and Ed George are not defending the claim that Atheistic Materialism and/or Methodological Naturalism was the worldview from which modern science was born. (Which is the prevailing worldview taught as the supposedly foundational ‘scientific’ worldview in American Universities).

    Methodological naturalism
    Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses.
    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Methodological_naturalism

    ,,, Which is good that Seversky and Ed George are not defending the Atheistic worldview as the supposedly foundational worldview in which modern science finds its basis, since it is a completely insane worldview that denies the reality of persons, free will, morality, meaning, purpose and value.

    Instead of trying to defend their indefensible worldview, Seversky and Ed George instead focus their attack on Christianity and try to say that Christianity was not necessary for the rise of science.

    Yet, many noted scholars, who have studied this issue in detail, have found that a culture that was dominated by the Christian worldview was necessary for the rise of modern science

    The truth about science and religion By Terry Scambray – August 14, 2014
    Excerpt: In 1925 the renowned philosopher and mathematician, Alfred North Whitehead speaking to scholars at Harvard said that science originated in Christian Europe in the 13th century. Whitehead pointed out that science arose from “the medieval insistence on the rationality of God, conceived as with the personal energy of Jehovah and with the rationality of a Greek philosopher”, from which it follows that human minds created in that image are capable of understanding nature.
    The audience, assuming that science and Christianity are enemies, was astonished.
    http://www.americanthinker.com.....igion.html

    The Threat to the Scientific Method that Explains the Spate of Fraudulent Science Publications – Calvin Beisner | Jul 23, 2014
    Excerpt: It is precisely because modern science has abandoned its foundations in the Biblical worldview (which holds, among other things, that a personal, rational God designed a rational universe to be understood and controlled by rational persons made in His image) and the Biblical ethic (which holds, among other things, that we are obligated to tell the truth even when it inconveniences us) that science is collapsing.
    As such diverse historians and philosophers of science as Alfred North Whitehead, Pierre Duhem, Loren Eiseley, Rodney Stark, and many others have observed,, science—not an occasional flash of insight here and there, but a systematic, programmatic, ongoing way of studying and controlling the world—arose only once in history, and only in one place: medieval Europe, once known as “Christendom,” where that Biblical worldview reigned supreme. That is no accident. Science could not have arisen without that worldview.
    http://townhall.com/columnists...../page/full
    Several other resources backing up this claim are available, such as Thomas Woods, Stanley Jaki, David Linberg, Edward Grant, J.L. Heilbron, and Christopher Dawson.

    The Christian Origins of Science – Jack Kerwick – Apr 15, 2017
    Excerpt: Though it will doubtless come as an enormous shock to such Christophobic atheists as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and their ilk, it is nonetheless true that one especially significant contribution that Christianity made to the world is that of science.,,,
    Stark is blunt: “Real science arose only once: in Europe”—in Christian Europe. “China, Islam, India, and ancient Greece and Rome each had a highly developed alchemy. But only in Europe did alchemy develop into chemistry. By the same token, many societies developed elaborate systems of astrology, but only in Europe did astrology develop into astronomy.”,,,
    In summation, Stark writes: “The rise of science was not an extension of classical learning. It was the natural outgrowth of Christian doctrine: nature exists because it was created by God. In order to love and honor God, it is necessary to fully appreciate the wonders of his handiwork. Because God is perfect, his handiwork functions in accord with immutable principles. By the full use of our God-given powers of reason and observation, it ought to be possible to discover these principles.”
    He concludes: “These were the crucial ideas that explain why science arose in Christian Europe and nowhere else.”
    https://townhall.com/columnists/jackkerwick/2017/04/15/the-christian-origins-of-science-n2313593

    “Did Christianity (and Other Religions) Promote the Rise Of Science?” – Michael Egnor October 24, 2013
    Excerpt: Neither the Greeks nor Islam produced modern theoretical science. The Greeks produced sublime philosophy and mathematics, but no theoretical science. They excelled in mathematics but never applied mathematical models to the systematic study of nature.
    Islam produced no real theoretical science. It invaded the Christian Middle East, Christian North Africa and Christian Spain, and expropriated the culture and work of Christians and Jews and pagans in the conquered lands. Centralized government and fresh availability of booty fostered a modest bit of science produced by the conquered locals — the vast majority of whom were not Muslim for centuries.
    It took several centuries before most of the conquered peoples under the Islamic boot converted to Islam — Islamic rulers coveted the dhimmi taxes and were not quick to force conversion — and when Islamic lands became wholly Islamic, science became wholly dead.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....78281.html

    The War against the War Between Science and Faith Revisited – July 2010
    Excerpt: …as Whitehead pointed out, it is no coincidence that science sprang, not from Ionian metaphysics, not from the Brahmin-Buddhist-Taoist East, not from the Egyptian-Mayan astrological South, but from the heart of the Christian West,,,,
    If science suffered only stillbirths in ancient cultures, how did it come to its unique viable birth? The beginning of science as a fully fledged enterprise took place in relation to two important definitions of the Magisterium of the Church. The first was the definition at the Fourth Lateran Council in the year 1215, that the universe was created out of nothing at the beginning of time. The second magisterial statement was at the local level, enunciated by Bishop Stephen Tempier of Paris who, on March 7, 1277, condemned 219 Aristotelian propositions, so outlawing the deterministic and necessitarian views of creation.
    These statements of the teaching authority of the Church expressed an atmosphere in which faith in God had penetrated the medieval culture and given rise to philosophical consequences. The cosmos was seen as contingent in its existence and thus dependent on a divine choice which called it into being; the universe is also contingent in its nature and so God was free to create this particular form of world among an infinity of other possibilities. Thus the cosmos cannot be a necessary form of existence; and so it has to be approached by a posteriori investigation. The universe is also rational and so a coherent discourse can be made about it. Indeed the contingency and rationality of the cosmos are like two pillars supporting the Christian vision of the cosmos.
    http://www.scifiwright.com/201.....revisited/

    Since Atheists cannot defend their insane worldview as the foundational scientific worldview, Atheists instead focus their attack on Christianity by putting forth a false revisionist history. This false revisionist history put forth by Atheist is called the “Warfare Thesis”

    The Importance of the Warfare Thesis – Cornelius Hunter, PhD in Biophysics – July 26, 2015
    Excerpt: Historians have understood for the better part of a century now that this Warfare Thesis (between science and religion) is a false history. It was constructed by evolutionists to frame the origins debate in their favor. In fact the conflict is the exactly the opposite—it is between the metaphysical foundation of evolutionary thought and science. That metaphysical foundation of naturalism is unyielding and unbending, and it makes no sense on the science. It is the evolutionists who have a conflict between their religious beliefs and science. The Warfare Thesis is an attempt to turn the tables and turn the attention away from the obvious problems with evolutionary thought.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....logos.html

    The Two Guys to Blame for the Myth of Constant Warfare between Religion and Science – February 27, 2015
    Excerpt: Timothy Larsen, a Christian historian who specializes in the nineteenth century, notes:
    The so-called “war” between faith and learning, specifically between orthodox Christian theology and science, was manufactured during the second half of the nineteenth century. It is a construct that was created for polemical purposes.
    No one deserves more blame for this stubborn myth than these two men:
    Andrew Dickson White (1832-1918), the founding president of Cornell University, and
    John William Draper (1811-1882), professor of chemistry at the University of New York.
    http://www.thegospelcoalition......d-science/

    Several Myths that have been put forward in the atheist’s ‘warfare thesis’ are debunked in the following site:

    THE GREAT MYTHS – Tim O’Neill
    History for Atheists’ “Great Myths” series is a collection of longer articles that addresses the most persistent and widespread myths about history that tend to be used by anti-theist activists. This is an ongoing project, so the list below will be added to as the series continues, with new additions made about every two to three months.
    The Great Myths Series
    The Great Myths 1: The Medieval Flat Earth
    The Great Myths 2: Christmas, Mithras and Paganism
    The Great Myths 3: Giordano Bruno was a Martyr for Science
    The Great Myths 4: Constantine, Nicea and the Bible
    The Great Myths 5: The Destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria
    The Great Myths 6: Copernicus’ Deathbed Publication
    Future additions will include:
    The various claims about Copernicus’ fear of publishing his work and the Christian reactions to his thesis
    Hypatia of Alexandria’s murder and the claim she was a martyr for science and learning
    The claim that the medieval Church retarded the development of technology and that the Middle Ages was a technically stagnant period as a result
    Several articles on the Galileo Affair and its historical, political and cultural contexts and how a caricature of Galileo’s story has come to predominate in popular culture
    Articles on the relationship between the Nazi regime and the Papacy and the Christian churches responses to the Holocaust
    The claim that Soviet and other twentieth century Communist regimes’ oppression had nothing to do with atheism
    And several others. Suggestions for other topics for the series will be gratefully received and considered via the “Contact the Author” page.
    https://historyforatheists.com/the-great-myths/

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    The main theme of this false revisionist history of the ‘warfare thesis’, that is put forward by atheists, is that ‘enlightenment’ thinking supposedly saved us from the ‘dark ages’ of Christianity:

    “THE DARK AGES” – POPERY, PERIODISATION AND PEJORATIVES – Tim O’Neill – 2016
    Excerpt: The concept of “the Dark Ages” is central to several key elements in New Atheist Bad History. One of the primary myths most beloved by many New Atheists is the one whereby Christianity violently suppressed ancient Greco-Roman learning, destroyed an ancient intellectual culture based on pure reason and retarded a nascent scientific and technological revolution, thus plunging Europe into a one thousand year “dark age” which was only relieved by the glorious dawn of “the Renaissance”. Like most New Atheist Bad History, it’s a commonly held and popularly believed set of ideas that has its origin in polemicists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries but which has been rejected by more recent historians. But its New Atheist adherents don’t like to hear that last part and get very agitated when they do.,,,,,
    Concluding paragraph
    It should be clear by now that value-laden terms like “dark ages” and “Renaissance” belong to a period of dusty historiography that modern scholarship has long since outgrown. The very early medieval centuries certainly did see fragmentation, technology loss and the break down of long distance trade and an acceleration of the ongoing collapse of learning in western Europe. But to characterise the entire medieval period as a “dark age” because of this is clearly absurd. And while the nineteenth century idolisation of Classical art meant that they were inevitably going to see the art and architecture movement we call “the Renaissance” as “superior” to more stylised and native medieval forms, for anyone post-Picasso or Le Corbusier to do so is fairly philistinic. Anyone with even a passing grasp of history now understands that the Medieval Period was a long and diverse one thousand year span of remarkable change and development, in which Europe went from being a backwater that suffered most from the collapse of the Western Empire, to an economic, technical and military powerhouse that was on the brink of a global expansion.
    https://historyforatheists.com/2016/11/the-dark-ages-popery-periodisation-and-pejoratives/

    Another ancient historian, through his studies of ancient history, also finds that the belief that the ‘enlightenment’ thinking saved western civilization from the ‘dark ages’ of Christianity is a false revisionist history. The truth turns out to be that Christianity saved western civilization from the ‘dark ages’ of the Greeks and the Romans.

    Tom Holland: Why I was wrong about Christianity – 2016
    It took me a long time to realise my morals are not Greek or Roman, but thoroughly, and proudly, Christian.
    Excerpt: The longer I spent immersed in the study of classical antiquity, the more alien and unsettling I came to find it. The values of Leonidas, whose people had practised a peculiarly murderous form of eugenics, and trained their young to kill uppity Untermenschen by night, were nothing that I recognised as my own; nor were those of Caesar, who was reported to have killed a million Gauls and enslaved a million more. It was not just the extremes of callousness that I came to find shocking, but the lack of a sense that the poor or the weak might have any intrinsic value. As such, the founding conviction of the Enlightenment – that it owed nothing to the faith into which most of its greatest figures had been born – increasingly came to seem to me unsustainable.
    “Every sensible man,” Voltaire wrote, “every honourable man, must hold the Christian sect in horror.” Rather than acknowledge that his ethical principles might owe anything to Christianity, he preferred to derive them from a range of other sources – not just classical literature, but Chinese philosophy and his own powers of reason. Yet Voltaire, in his concern for the weak and ­oppressed, was marked more enduringly by the stamp of biblical ethics than he cared to admit. His defiance of the Christian God, in a paradox that was certainly not unique to him, drew on motivations that were, in part at least, recognisably Christian.
    “We preach Christ crucified,” St Paul declared, “unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness.” He was right. Nothing could have run more counter to the most profoundly held assumptions of Paul’s contemporaries – Jews, or Greeks, or Romans. The notion that a god might have suffered torture and death on a cross was so shocking as to appear repulsive. Familiarity with the biblical narrative of the Crucifixion has dulled our sense of just how completely novel a deity Christ was. In the ancient world, it was the role of gods who laid claim to ruling the universe to uphold its order by inflicting punishment – not to suffer it themselves.
    Today, even as belief in God fades across the West, the countries that were once collectively known as Christendom continue to bear the stamp of the two-millennia-old revolution that Christianity represents. It is the principal reason why, by and large, most of us who live in post-Christian societies still take for granted that it is nobler to suffer than to inflict suffering. It is why we generally assume that every human life is of equal value. In my morals and ethics, I have learned to accept that I am not Greek or Roman at all, but thoroughly and proudly Christian.
    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/religion/2016/09/tom-holland-why-i-was-wrong-about-christianity?fbclid=IwAR0QqBmBxdpkHh_iiXlJX-UbwShtej-wnB721Z1eULApM6fuxSUzSjnBJA8

    Thus in conclusion, the simple fact of the matter, despite what may be taught by Atheists in American Universities, is that Atheistic materialism, and/or methodological naturalism, is NOT the foundational worldview in which modern science finds its basis, (indeed, to repeat, Atheistic materialism is a completely insane worldview), but instead, the only way that Atheists are able to present their worldview as remotely scientific is by relying on the wholesale lies and deception that are inherent in their false revisionist history against Christianity, i.e. the false ‘warfare thesis’.

    One final note, not only was a culture that was thoroughly dominated by the Christian worldview necessary for the rise of modern science, I also hold that by allowing agent causality back into the picture of modern physics, (as quantum physics itself now demands, and as the Christian founders of modern physics originally envisioned, (Sir Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell, Michael Faraday, and Max Planck, to name a few), then a empirically backed reconciliation, (via the Shroud of Turin), between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity, i.e. the ‘Theory of Everything’, readily pops out for us in Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

    Short take: Copernican Principle, Agent Causality, and Jesus Christ as the “Theory of Everything” (December 2018):
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/quantum-physicist-the-particle-itself-does-not-know-where-it-is/#comment-669088

    Verse:

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

  9. 9
    Ed George says:

    BA77

    Please note that Seversky and Ed George are not defending the claim that Atheistic Materialism and/or Methodological Naturalism was the worldview from which modern science was born.

    Agreed. I did not say that. I was just pointing out that the claim that Christianity was responsible for modern science is not only false hubris, it is just plain false. Modern science evolved over many centuries with the assistance of many cultures and worldviews, including naturalism.

    Every worldview (Christian, Muslim, atheist, materialism, etc.) comes to the table with their own set of biases, blind spots and taboo avenues of inquiry. Science has evolved over the centuries by acknowledging them and, not always successfully, trying to set them aside.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    The only false hubris is in your own imaginary and unsubstantiated, beliefs which are based on ignorance and/or atheistic lies and deceptions.. I provided references and can provide more.

    Remember, we are not talking ‘stillbirths’ of modern science or occasional flashes of insight here or there.. We are talking about an entire culture dominated by the Christian worldview, i.e. of a rational creator and that we are ‘made in his image’,,,where modern science could germinate, take root and flourish throughout the entire society into the fruitful field that it has become..

    If science suffered only stillbirths in ancient cultures, how did it come to its unique viable birth? The beginning of science as a fully fledged enterprise took place in relation to two important definitions of the Magisterium of the Church. The first was the definition at the Fourth Lateran Council in the year 1215, that the universe was created out of nothing at the beginning of time. The second magisterial statement was at the local level, enunciated by Bishop Stephen Tempier of Paris who, on March 7, 1277, condemned 219 Aristotelian propositions, so outlawing the deterministic and necessitarian views of creation.
    These statements of the teaching authority of the Church expressed an atmosphere in which faith in God had penetrated the medieval culture and given rise to philosophical consequences. The cosmos was seen as contingent in its existence and thus dependent on a divine choice which called it into being; the universe is also contingent in its nature and so God was free to create this particular form of world among an infinity of other possibilities. Thus the cosmos cannot be a necessary form of existence; and so it has to be approached by a posteriori investigation. The universe is also rational and so a coherent discourse can be made about it. Indeed the contingency and rationality of the cosmos are like two pillars supporting the Christian vision of the cosmos.

    In summation, Stark writes: “The rise of science was not an extension of classical learning. It was the natural outgrowth of Christian doctrine: nature exists because it was created by God. In order to love and honor God, it is necessary to fully appreciate the wonders of his handiwork. Because God is perfect, his handiwork functions in accord with immutable principles. By the full use of our God-given powers of reason and observation, it ought to be possible to discover these principles.”
    He concludes: “These were the crucial ideas that explain why science arose in Christian Europe and nowhere else.”

    And again, atheism in particular (which you tried to sneak into your list of worldviews)), contributed absolutely nothing to the birth of modern science. NOTHING!

    Atheistic materialism is a completely insane worldview.

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – 39:45 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/8rzw0JkuKuQ?t=2387
    Excerpt: Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the reality of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft).
    Bottom line, nothing is real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    Paper with references for each claim page; Page 37:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pAYmZpUWFEi3hu45FbQZEvGKsZ9GULzh8KM0CpqdePk/edit

    Thus, although the Darwinian Atheist firmly believes he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for methodological naturalism), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

  11. 11
    Ed George says:

    BA77

    The only false hubris is in your own imaginary and unsubstantiated, beliefs which are based on ignorance and/or atheistic lies and deceptions.

    I’m not an atheist. But thank you for concluding that my opinions are based on ignorance or lies. Obviously there is no value in attempting to have an honest discussion with you. I will continue to read your comments, as I find many of them very interesting, but this will be my last comment to you. I wish you a very merry Christmas and may you find what you are looking for in life, and after.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Ed George, I am more than willing to have an ‘honest discussion’. Unfortunately, since you, like Darwinists in general, steadfastly refuse to ever admit when you are wrong, having an ‘honest discussion’ is not an option. My only avenue is to shine the light of truth on your false claims and expose them for what they are.

    Since you have not even attempted to rigorously defend your claims with trustworthy sources, but have only repeated your false claims and then feigned hurt feelings when they were refuted, I am more than satisfied that the unbiased reader will, thus far, clearly see who is being forthright with this issue and who is not.

    And, since you have not even attempted to defend atheistic materialism as the supposedly scientific worldview, (as is taught in most American Universities), I am also more than satisfied that I have made the main point I was trying to make clear,, i.e. that atheistic materialism is a completely insane worldview.

    Supplemental note:

    The Waning of Materialism Edited by Robert C. Koons and George Bealer
    Description: Twenty-three philosophers examine the doctrine of materialism and find it wanting. The case against materialism comprises arguments from conscious experience, from the unity and identity of the person, from intentionality, mental causation, and knowledge.,,,
    All of the current versions of materialism–reductive and non-reductive, functionalist, eliminativist, and new wave materialism–come under sustained and trenchant attack.
    http://www.oxfordscholarship.c.....0199556182

    Dr. Robert C. Koons — “The Waning of Materialism” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZLHKlwue20

  13. 13
    john_a_designer says:

    One of the ironies of modern atheistic naturalism, whose proponents often posture as self-appointed defenders of science, is that naturalism, or its insane twin materialism, cannot provide an adequate basis for science. For example, the fact is we cannot even begin to do science unless we make some metaphysical assumptions about science. Another irony, at least according to physicist and theologian Ian Barbour, is that the assumptions that a scientist must make to do science are basically Biblical assumptions.

    “A good case can be made,” Barbour writes, “that the doctrine of creation helped set the stage for scientific activity.”

    Christian philosopher Peter S. Williams, who provides the above quote from Barbour in his on-line article, “Does Science Disprove God?” lists several presuppositions of science that he argues “derive warrant from the theistic doctrine of creation:

    • That the natural world is real (not an illusion) and basically good (and hence worth studying)
    • That the natural world isn’t divine (i.e. pantheism is false) and so it isn’t impious to experiment upon it
    • That the natural world isn’t governed by multiple competing and/or capricious forces (i.e. polytheism is false)
    • That the natural world is governed by a rational order
    • That the human mind is, to some degree, able to understand the rational order displayed by the natural world
    • That human cognitive and sensory faculties are generally reliable
    • That the rational order displayed by the natural world cannot be deduced from first principles, thus observation and experiment are required”

    Again, notice that these presuppositions themselves cannot be proven by empirical science. Therefore, a science based epistemology, i.e. “scientism,” of any kind cannot be true.

    Williams observes that, “There is thus a wide-ranging consonance between Christianity and the presuppositions of science.” He then goes on to quote Barbour again.

    “Both Greek and biblical thought asserted that the world is orderly and intelligible. But the Greeks held that this order is necessary and that one can therefore deduce its structure from first principles. Only biblical thought held that God created both form and matter, meaning that the world did not have to be as it is and that the details of its order can be discovered only by observation. Moreover, while nature is real and good in the biblical view, it is not itself divine, as many ancient cultures held, and it is therefore permissible to experiment on it… it does appear that the idea of creation gave a religious legitimacy to scientific inquiry.”

    http://www.bethinking.org/does.....scientific

    Barbour is not alone here. Both Alfred North Whitehead and American physicist Robert Oppenheimer understood that historically a Christian milieu was in fact necessary for the development of science. The famous Christian writer and University of Cambridge professor C.S. Lewis summarized the position this way: “Men became scientific because they expected Law in Nature, and they expected Law in Nature because they believed in a [Lawgiver.]”

    Indeed, all the early scientist who were part of the so-called scientific revolution: Galileo, Kepler, Newton were Christian theists.

  14. 14
    harry says:

    Seversky @5,

    This is the same “benevolent” God who is supposed to have wiped out almost all life on Earth because it displeased Him, an irrational act if ever there was one, given that as an omniscient and omnipotent deity He should have foreseen the problem and taken whatever corrective measures He thought necessary without going to the extreme lengths of genocide – should that be biocide?

    You sound like a little kid whose Dad spanked him for riding his tricycle in the street, carrying on about how cruel his Dad was for spanking him for no good reason whatsoever. After all, it is obvious to everybody that there is a lot more room in the street than there is in the driveway. “I was just wanting a little more room to ride around in; I wasn’t doing anything bad to anybody. Then, out of the blue, Dad rushed at me with a look of panic on his face, yanks me off of my trike with one hand, picks up my trike in the other, and marches me back onto the driveway, yelling something about a car, and then spanks my butt! And I didn’t see even one car! My Dad is obviously a liar and a monster!”

    You owe every contented and happy moment of your life to God, Who holds you in existence instant by instant. He paid the debt for the evil you have done in your life, through suffering you can’t even imagine, and offers you eternal happiness if you will just take Him up on it. His thoughts are farther above your thoughts than were the father’s thoughts above his child he spanked.

    God owns you twice. First, because He created you and holds you in existence, secondly, because He redeemed you. Human life belongs to God. He calls it forth, and He calls it back to Himself when He is good and ready to do so. His command to us was “Thou shalt do no murder.” When God takes human life, it isn’t murder or “genocide,” as you put it. God can do what He wants with what He owns.

  15. 15
    john_a_designer says:

    What is irrational is a cynical self-centered and self-righteous individual trying to convert everyone he encounters on-line to his narrow cynical worldview.

Leave a Reply