Thursday, November 29, 2007

Having Your Cake and Eating Too: Part II

Other than trying to create brand new categories of existence without one shred of evidence (see Part I), the typical atheist trump card when faced with the nagging question, "Why are there physical laws," was stated well by this atheist blog entry: "At the end of the day it is certainly not the domain of science to dabble in metaphysics." Absolutely correct: that which is outside science is untouchable by science. Lewis mentioned that as well in his essay "Religion and Science" (from God in the Dock).
I must say, it is a convenient trump card to have, especially seeing as how it is true. Whenever annoying supernaturalist ask their annoying "WHY?" question, one can simply say, "That question is outside of science, so there." I agree on that point. I also agree with this other atheist post, which points out that supernaturalist should not try and turn known scientific facts into supernatural elements just because those facts sound "magical." All well and good.
However, the latter post jogged my memory about anther trump card atheist love to use. Whenever a supernaturalist tries to give an answer to the metaphysical question of "Why," atheist are the first to shout, "That goes against science, you fool!" Here we have a Schaefferian "point of tension".
You see, if you ask an atheist "why," they will tell you that science cannot touch that subject. However, if you (God forbid) try to provide the metaphysical solution that they cannot, they turn right around and claim that science debunks it. Again, they want to have their cake and eat it too: they want science to be free from answering the "why" question, and allow science to tear down any answer to the "why" question. Well folks, does science have any say in metaphysics or does it not? Atheist, apparently, cannot make up their minds. Their two trump cards ("Science cannot touch metaphysics," and "Science is the ultimate standard of truth") cannot coexist, yet atheist need both. Dear me, what a mess!
Atheist Joe (as I call him), in his post showing science's inadequacies in regards to metaphysics, makes some statements that are quite odd:
  1. "Why can't we take physicists at their word when they say that the question [of "why"] is outside the domain of science?" We do. We're not the problem. You are, because you just do not like people actually trying to find the answer without science; but how else can we answer the question that is outside science if we do not go outside science?
  2. "Any being or cause to which we might look as a possible solution will always invite us to go one step further. For example, to decide that God is the original ground of the laws of physics -- indeed of the universe itself -- is to put God into the set of causes and effects." Only in a purely naturalistic world can a supernatural element become natural by being the grounds for nature, and by claiming that their is something outside science (i.e., metaphysics) betrays that even Atheist Joe believes that the world is not purely naturalistic. And if it is not purely naturalistic, than his statement is a non sequitur: it does not at all follow that a supernatural element will suddenly become natural somehow simply because it is the grounds for that which is natural.
However, the oddest statement of all is the third and final atheist trump card: "Heidegger considered this question [of "why"] to be 'originary,' a philosophical brain teaser that pushed beyond the limits of being itself. [He] argued that the scope of the question was so broad that it pushed beyond the bounds of what can be thought. We cannot answer the question...because we can never exceed it." In other words, if science cannot answer it, then their is no answer. Thus we come to atheism's ultimate flaw, said nicely by C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity: "Atheism turns out to be too simple...[it is] a boys' philosophy." Whereas Christians are free to view the world through all facets possible (Science, Art, Religion, Philosophy, etc.) in their search for the truth, atheists are stuck viewing the world through only one facet, i.e., Science. Everything that is not within the realm of science (though they may look and sound pretty or noble) is ultimately bunk. Thus, they handicap their ability to perceive the whole of the universe (both what is inside and outside science), and are forced to rest their views on trump cards that are hopeless contradictions in the end.

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