I believe god used science!

It’s clear that the fundamentalist believer has nothing but contempt for science.  They’re anti-evolution, and anti-science tales from the bible like Noah’s flood, Jesus walking on water, Jonah living inside a big fish for three days, Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of salt, or the Earth’s rotation being stopped for Joshua (and FSM-knows how many others) are literal truths that take precedence over established science (and thereby shows the great power of god, rather than the believer’s gullibility).  Incidentally, the concept of Noah’s flood is also anti-history since all the world’s civilizations at the time the flood was supposed to have taken place, like Egypt’s sixth dynasty, remained unperturbed.  Though they recorded all manner of things from that era, none of them seemed to notice being exterminated by a great flood.  Perhaps they’re just especially resilient?

As far as I can see, the most popular way that religious moderates attempt to get around sounding like shit-chucking primates in the same vein is to say they believe in science, which reveals all the ways god chose to do stuff (they’re often wishy-washy on all the affronts to science in the bible, often just repeating that science and the bible are compatible or that they address different questions like a skipping CD of wrong).  So evolution is true, and the billions of years of death and pain required for it to work via natural selection is just the method that the loving god elected to use to get things to this point.  We never really get an answer to the question, “Couldn’t god have found a way that didn’t involve so much suffering?” other than being told that we’re too stupid to understand (and therefore, to criticize) god’s methods.

Or we hear this version:  “I love when science makes new discoveries; it just reveals another one of god’s brilliant ideas!”  These are then often propped up as evidence for god via the fine-tuning or design arguments.

Welcome to the world of self-sealing arguments.  A self- sealing argument is one that is set up in such a way as to seal itself off from possible disproof, usually in ad hoc or arbitrary ways (as the religious believer does).  The linked article gives a good example:

John: All families are dysfunctional.

Mike: My family wasn’t dysfunctional. I had a good

John: That just shows how dysfunctional it was. You’re in

Mike: I’m not in denial. It was okay.
John: You are too in denial. You’re just too dysfunctional to
see how dysfunctional your family was.

Moderates do the same damn thing, and it’s why Occam’s Razor exists.  If a natural explanation for a phenomenon exists that requires an appeal to only mindless forces acting on inanimate objects (as it does for all things we have explained), then there is no need to include god and it makes no sense to do so.  Don’t believe me?  Then try this action on for size: all the natural explanations unveiled by science just reveal the way god elected to do things, which reveals that god must have been put there by the Flying Spaghetti Monster to take care of all the dirty work while the FSM sat back and chilled.  Faith confirmed.  No contradictions here.

Throwing in unnecessary variables because you’re emotionally attached to a position is stupid and really doesn’t make you any more credible than the fundamentalist.  At least they’re forthcoming that they proudly believe idiotic things and aren’t trying to dress their beliefs up in pretensions to reality like they’re ashamed.

  • annon

    I am a religious moderate, so I do read this with a degree of hostility. I realize that any attempt to know the face of the universe necessarily requires the seeker to suspend logic at the point where evidence becomes impossible to gather. This is, in my view, applicable to all discussions involving God. I also believe that logical and cooperative discussion is the only way to improve one’s understanding of the evidence.Your thesis seems to be that the argument for religious moderation is inaccurate, circular and based on shame. Isn’t this a self sealing argument?
    Mike- Your views are circular and innacurate.
    John- They have to be when we talk about God and unknown aspects of existence, that is how we discover truth and make better ideas.
    Mike- You are ashamed of your ignorance so you accept the existence of an unknown and malicious God and a fairy tale of his loving son. This is not a better idea than atheism and a noodley appendage of FSM touching your life .
    John- Perhaps not but they both require the same degree of faith to believe.
    Mike- You are blinded by your shame and cannot be taken seriously.
    I’d love to have a rational discussion about this subject.

  • Jeffrey

    "I’d love to have a rational discussion about this subject."

    Sure, but first and foremost you may need to review a dictionary:

    "John- Perhaps not but they both require the same degree of faith to believe."
    and then, here:
    By the way, how does your religious text perceive hostility?

    All we atheists ask is that people think rationally and require evidence before believing something. Trust me, if there were a shred of evidence I would absolutely love to grip to it with my every last strength, so that I may believe that I will live in a paradise with my loved ones for all eternity(or hell). This sounds like a lovely idea. But the problem is that I do not believe in ideas because of how nice they sound. I always imagined death as similar to that of what we previously experienced before we came to life; nothingness. The only way we could possibly come back to life is if the particles/atoms that create our perception of consciousness were to be arranged in a state similar to that which they currently are. For if that were to occur, we would spring back into life.