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Science Of The Gaps

Science can help explain the how of things, it cannot theorize about why or who that is responsible. Yet people continue to use science to fill in the gaps of atheism and agnosticism.
| Dec 3, 2013 | No comments |

Javad_alizadeh_joking-on--amazing-formulaAtheist and agnostics postulate that all religions are based upon the premise that people create a god or gods to explain events they can’t comprehend.

Rain falls, so people say God did it to bless their crops. Then knowledge is gained, and it is explained in terms of meteorological conditions. The mystery is gone, and a god is no longer needed to explain how it happened.

Of course, such a belief is incomplete, if a belief in God is understood in those terms. While it is true some Christians do hold a “God of the gaps” belief system, the atheist and agnostics have a critical hole in their proposition. Actually, more than one.

They assume God is not real and only adopt theories/beliefs based upon that premise.

While it is plausible that religions arose in response to explaining the unknown, it is also just as plausible that they arose because they reflect a reality that exists.

Case in point: the classic evolution vs. creation debate. In adopting evolution as the engine of creation, atheist and agnostics believe it shows a creator wasn’t required. If true, then knowing how an electric drill works means it didn’t have a creator. The logic does not follow.

They assume by explaining the how, that they have also explained the why or who.

Science is equally guilty of filling in gaps where it doesn’t belong. Religion is accused of filling in the gaps of how an event occurred. Science is also guilty of filling in the gaps of why an event occurred.

By explaining creation via evolution, the atheist and agnostic postulate that a who or why is not there. Yet, there is no way they could know this for sure. They cannot exclude the possibility that a god did create us and our world using evolution if that is how he did it.

Science can help explain the how of things, it cannot theorize about why or who that is responsible. Yet people continue to use science to fill in the gaps of atheism and agnosticism.

Consequently, you hear from secularist that Christian science fiction is a contradiction of terms. The two cannot be compatible.

That is a science of the gaps view. If science stays within its boundaries of understanding the how, Christianity explaining the why and who shouldn’t conflict with science anymore than knowing how electricity works exclude the possibility that someone turned on a light and had a reason to do so. Science should be agnostic when it comes to God, or it risks being a science of the gaps.

What gaps in science or religion have you seen or used?

 

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Leah Burchfiel
Member
Leah Burchfiel

Ehhhhhhhhh.
This seems coming at a bit cross purposes, because you’re coming from the position that there IS a “why” to something happening, and atheists/agnostics don’t — or don’t necessarily — assume that. Science is supposed to answer “how” and not so much “why.” The cliff collapsed because of erosion and gravity. Whether it was supposed to punish the people whose road it blocked is not a question in science’s purview.
And I think most atheists are aware that religion in general/Christianity in particular has an emotional aspect, that it’s not just a collection of pre-science attempts to rationalize the world. They think that there is no divide between the spiritual and the psychological, that is to say, it’s all psychological. Mankind has a need for identity and purpose and comfort, and religion can and does provide that.
And as a somewhat-related tangent, have you heard of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and its associated spoof religion?

Paul Lee
Member

And as a somewhat-related tangent, have you heard of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and its associated spoof religion?

Yes, and the pink unicorn orbiting Saturn. How is it relevant? I don’t need a flying spaghetti monster to exist, and I don’t think that a flying spaghetti monster would provide the purpose that I need to see in the universe and in human life.

Leah Burchfiel
Member
Leah Burchfiel

EXACTLY. The atheists don’t find a creator relevant or necessary.
But my point was that atheists are aware of the kinds of arguments that were in this article, and the spoof is one of their ways of answering that. There is no material proof that, if a creator existed in the first place, that creator would have been Judeo-Christian God and not an animate pile of googly-eyed pasta.
(I’m still struggling with how much of this is devil’s advocate and how much is my personal view. I don’t believe in the “whys” of things so much anymore. And I accept evolution, and I can’t really stand the attempts to deny or disprove it/science in general anymore.)
And I have to applaud Pastafarianism just for being a good parody. And creative.

Paul Lee
Member

There is no material proof that, if a creator existed in the first place, that creator would have been Judeo-Christian God and not an animate pile of googly-eyed pasta.

I grant that calling the Creator “Judeo-Christian” is a little bit circular, or whatever the proper term for an argument based on an after-the-fact perception is. There was neither Judaism nor Christianity at the moment of creation. But calling God pasta would also be circular and after-the-fact, even if God had hypothetically been manifested to mortals as pasta. Pasta does not answer the human condition, unless maybe if I’m really hungry. 😉

I don’t think Pastafarianism is very creative or clever. A mock religion that is far more creepy, and therefore more clever and more accurate in an upside-down sort of way, is Discordianism. I find it better to believe that ultimate order, and not discord or the nihilism evoked by the absurdity of the spaghetti monster, is the source of value and significance.

Paul Lee
Member

(Let me add that I’m not trying to be a pandering snob when I say “I find it better to believe…” I’ve been in a small handful of these kinds of discussions on the Internet, so I know the arrogant sermonizing that both sides usually use. I think my comment might have sounded that way. But I mean it. I find it better to believe. Like Mulder in the X-Files, I want to and need to believe.)