Saturday, November 24, 2007

Choose your faith ...

... Taking Science on Faith. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

"... both religion and science are founded on faith — namely, on belief in the existence of something outside the universe, like an unexplained God or an unexplained set of physical laws, maybe even a huge ensemble of unseen universes, too. For that reason, both monotheistic religion and orthodox science fail to provide a complete account of physical existence.
"... the laws should have an explanation from within the universe and not involve appealing to an external agency."

But suppose there is an external agency?


  1. Anonymous9:07 PM

    Then it should reveal or explain itself, or both, in clear, unambiguous terms understandable to the average human. Otherwise, the hell with it.

  2. Anonymous7:22 AM

    Not only should He make Himself a lot clearer, He should prevent all disasters and sickness and make sure everybody has food, shelter, a Beemer and lotsa good sex. Never mind lacking in the old love department, this is His idea of omnipotence!? I vote we give Him the old heave-ho and put anon in charge.

  3. My point, which I did not make clear, is that, given Davies premise, he can hardly insist a priori that any explanation, to be valid, may not lead to positing an exterior agent.

  4. Anonymous11:36 AM

    Giving the author the benefit of the doubt, naturalism and materialism are traditional opening precepts of scientific inquiry that are supposed to define the limits of its purview, so if all he is saying is that science shouldn't look beyond that, that's fair ball. I wouldn't bet the mortgage on it though. Modern theoretical science is fast becoming synonomous with scientism, at least it its popular NYT form, and acts as if they were conclusions about existence that science has proven.

    I sure hope he doesn't forget to bring his slide rule along when he is exploring all those unseen parallel universes.

  5. Anonymous12:24 PM

    When the External Agency or Cosmic Watchmaker or however It wants us to style It (opinions differ, usually bloodily), when It doesn't make Itself clear, which is always, then such serious matters as It portends are open to interpretation by popes and the Roberts family and other charlatans. Of course, the charlatans are able to turn this into a nice piece of change, and then, by extension, religious war on a ghastly scale for the rest of us. So it all balances out.

  6. Dear Anonymous: You would do well to spend some time finding out what real theologians and philosophers mean when they use the term God. It is a little more sophisticated than you seem to think.

  7. Anonymous10:49 AM

    In this as in so many things, the Sage of Baltimore put it most trenchantly: Theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in the terms of the not worth knowing.

  8. It still behooves one, if one insists on talking about something, to make sure one knows what one is talking about. Otherwise, as in this case, you are left to depend entirely upon the authority of someone else, as opposed to arriving at one's own conclusion based upon an impartial examination of the primary texts.