Sunday, August 14, 2005

So, When Arguing Before Congress Or A School Board, Science Doesn't Imply Atheism, Otherwise, It Does?

Interesting round-up of quotes here. Among these is this gem from Richard Dawkins, uber Darwinist, staunch atheist, and hater of religion:

In any case, the belief that religion and science occupy separate magisteria is dishonest. It founders on the undeniable fact that religions still make claims about the world that on analysis turn out to be scientific claims….The Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, the raising of Lazarus, even the Old Testament miracles, all are freely used for religious propaganda, and they are very effective with an audience of unsophisticates and children. Every one of these miracles amounts to a violation of the normal running of the natural world. Theologians should make a choice. You can claim your own magisterium, separate from science’s but still deserving of respect. But in that case, you must renounce miracles. Or you can keep your Lourdes and your miracles and enjoy their huge recruiting potential among the uneducated. But then you must kiss goodbye to separate magisteria and your high-minded aspiration to converge with science. – Richard Dawkins, Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University

How dense. Of course these amount to a violation of the normal running of the natural world. That's why they are miracles. So theologians should renounce them why? A complete non-sequitor.

Dawkins position seems to be this:

1. The existence of God implies miracles.
2. Miracles go against the normal running of the natural world.
3. Nothing whatsoever can go against the normal running of the natural world.
4. Therefore there are no miracles.
5. Therefore there is no God.
6. Therefore religions are false.
7. Therefore the religious are morons.

Now, I don't know about you, but I think point 3 up there needs more clarification and support. What form could this take?

1. God doesn't exist (as proven by the above argument points 1-5).
2. Therefore only the natural world does.
3. Since only the natural world exists, the only things that can happen are consistent with the normal running of the natural world.
4. So, nothing whatsoever can go against the normal running of the natural world.

Case closed. A perfect circular argument.

Or maybe I'm being too cruel. Maybe the support for point 3 is this:

1. The only things that can happen in this world must be repeatable by experiment.
2. Miracles are not repeatable by experiment.
3. Therefore miracles don't happen.

But, now point 1 above needs more support. Last I checked, no Nobel prizes were ever handed out to anyone for establishing this scientifically. It's a pretty important principle. You'd think there'd be a proof for it somewhere, but I've never seen one.

Now the funny thing is, there is no scientific way to establish the impossibility of miracles, despite the non sequitor bullying of such as Richard Dawkins. However, there are pretty decent historical and courtroom-style arguments out there for believing that miracles have actually occurred (i.e. the Resurrection). If there weren't, I wouldn't be a Catholic. Generally, staunch atheistic Darwinists are unwilling to seriously address these, because they already know that God doesn't exist. I don't know how they know that, but they just seem to. They are a lot smarter than I am. That's probably it.

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