God’s Not Dead, Chapter 2 – Is Science the Answer to Everything? (pt22)
IS SCIENCE THE ANSWER TO EVERYTHING?
While reason is obviously vital for our existence, it must not be applied in an unreasonable fashion. This tendency is seen when reason is used in a reductionist fashion and attempts to limit truth to only that which is scientifically and empirically verifiable, even eliminating logical and philosophical means of attaining knowledge.
What?! If this makes sense to you leave me a comment to enlighten me. I know of no other way to ascertain knowledge/truth than through scientific means. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that every decision, every day we must go through the formal steps of the scientific method. I am saying everything we know was discovered by the scientific method even if it was unknowingly and informally done.
A kid will taste dirt, most don’t like and don’t then try to eat it again. This is an informal scientific method. The child has unknowingly made the hypothesis that the dirt was edible, possibly tasty. They performed the experiment by eating it and the conclusion came out that they didn’t like it. From that they made a decision that they wouldn’t eat more dirt, but as a kid we have limited memory and limited knowledge of the world around us. This doesn’t mean the kid will never eat dirt again, maybe somewhere else the “dirt” is sand or mud, the method may start over at the hypothesis. We don’t say the kid is performing a formal science experiment but there is no doubt kids are scientific in their learning.
This philosophy is called scientism and is the belief that science is the only source of knowledge; not even philosophy or theology may weigh in on the ultimate questions that face our world.
Scientism is a philosophical position that all of life’s challenges and riddles can and should be handled scientifically.
Wow, I never knew this word or idea existed but this is me. I am a scientist. lol. I believe that most of the positions that religion has proposed an answer for including disease, cosmology, equality, etc have been proven wrong by scientific means. What “ultimate questions” does the author suggest can be answered without a scientific answer? NONE.
Science is certainly important, but is not able to answer the ultimate questions.
Scientism, the view that science can explain all human conditions and expressions, mental as well as physical, is a superstition, one of the dominant superstitions of out day; and it is not an insult to science to say so. -Leon Wieseltier
Science studies what’s at the edge of understanding, and what’s at the edge of understanding is usually fairly simple. And it rarely reaches human affairs. Human affairs are way to complicated. -Noam Chomsky
What questions?! The author and the people he quotes talk about things that science can’t explain or even entertain but do nothing to provide examples of such.
Therefore, we must look for something beyond science to guide us through this complexity with justice, fairness, and mercy. Yet finding such a source of ethics that originates in humanity is not easy.
These may be the “difficult questions” the author keeps referencing but he still isn’t clear as to what he is talking about. This last clipping is very close to a debate on morality that I won’t delve too deeply into in this post. Does it come from a supernatural being or have humans developed the ideas of justice, fairness, and mercy through our own growth? Click here to watch a video about the idea of secular morality. If morality were bestowed upon us by a superior being why would the idea of what is moral be so different in different regions around the globe? Almost as if each group had their own ideas and grew with them being influenced by other cultures, their influencing those other cultures, and changed their beliefs accordingly.