Our culture’s scientific zeitgeist is incredibly dogmatic because of a very specific philosophy of science that’s constantly alluded to in our education system.
In the West, science is seen as the ‘ultimate discipline’, the only true way to find verifiable facts. Bertrand Russell famously said, “Science is what we know, Philosophy is what we don’t know.” Putting this in it’s context, he continued with:
"We may say that, on its theoretical side, philosophy consists, at least in part, in the framing of large general hypotheses which science is not yet in a position to test; but when it becomes possible to test the hypotheses they become, if verified, a part of science, and cease to count as “philosophy.””
Questions of science, he believed, would eventually replace much of philosophy. For instance ‘philosophy of mind’ would become purely psychology, and astrology would become astronomy.
This is the very particular and oddly peculiar context that our young people brew in every day.
The Definition and Limitations Of Science
Science is not religion’s enemy - far from it! Christians should love scientific research and seek it out. We should fund it, support it, read it and worship God in it. Its quest for discovery should lead us deeper into our understanding of God. This is worth nailing to the door from the off!
Science however, does need clearly defining and putting into it’s proper place if we are to step away from the cultish undertones of science in our culture.
If we go back to Russell for a moment we will find that he is passionate about challenging overly d...
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...ebrate research and not make ourselves enemies of a fantastic method of finding truth. We don 't want to fall into the stereotype of ‘smart people are scientists dumb people Christians’.
1. We should be armed with knowledge of the limitations of The Scientific Method including a clear definition of what The Scientific Method is.
2. We should have a strategy of asking epistemological questions the helpers move away from the rhetoric to actual problems with gods existence. I have a post on this here.
3. We should gracefully and generously remember that New Atheists like Dawkins are not the best versions of the argument, while holding in tension the rhetoric that people use which comes from them.
4. If it’s within our ability and delight to reason, then we should enjoy reading and researching science ourselves and marvel the wonders of God contained within its grasp.
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