Sunday, October 10, 2010
That Trick Atehists do With Evidence
"There's no proof for your God," this is the refrain perennially voiced by atheists on every message board every single day. J.D. Walters, on the CADRE blog, has done a piece comparing this problem to smoking. He acknowledges that he is sometimes dissatisfied with the level of proof, but there is proof enough that smoking is harmful and people who know that it is can't or wont stop. I find this very non apt as an analogy. The problem is people who understand that smoking is harmful either, want to stop and can't or they don't want to stop but do realize that it's harmful. Few smokers actually still believe it's not harmful. Atheists are not exactly in this same predicament. Some atheist want to believe in God but struggle because they only want to bleieve on their terms, that is if the evidence is overwhelming and they can't argue with it. Most atheists have bought into the line that there is no scientific proof for God. That is a crucial draw back because once they accept he premise that scinece is the only form of knowledge then they never have to believe. So the atheist opinion leaders construct this huge ideolgoical edifice around the concept that science is the only way to know what's real, and there's no scientific evidence for God so there can't be a good or you can't ever find him so it must not be a big deal. That's not like smokers. If we examine the edifice of that ideological construct we soon realize it's a trick and crumbles.
The point is a lot more complex. The atheist assertion the evidence isn't good enough is based entirely upon their refusal to accept the perimeters of evidence that theists accept. We have two different worlds going. Theists and atheists live in different worlds. Atheists think about the Question of God as just adding a fact to the universe. It's just one more thin, scinece is the only form of knowledge, if there is no absolute scientific proof so strong they can't argue whit it then it's not proved and it's worth thinking about because the only form knowledge has to be absolute and obvious. They want to be totally and utterly forced to believe by the power of absolute proof.
God is not just adding a fact to the universe. The God embedded universe is not just a universe exactly like the atheists except it has God in it. It's a universe where subjective human experience is the only form of human experience, where science is not the only form of knowledge, where inner life counts too. If I'm right about God, then God doesn't want one to find "him" through absolute scientific evidence that can't be refitted. If that were the case God would be subjugated to human understanding. If we could have scientific evidence that proved God then God would have to be objectified and we would be in control because as the subjects we control the data and the knowledge that gives us any object of our scrutiny. That's why reductionism works by the game of losing phenomena. The whole point of reducing is to eliminate aspects that you can't control. God is not fool, and God would be a fool if he allowed himself to become an object of scientific proof, because to do he would be competency at the disposal of humanity in terms of setting the perimeters for understanding. The way God does it we have to go to him. We have to surrender our wills we have to accept that God is the boss, these are things atheists cannot stand thinking about doing. That's really what atheists are in a sense, people ho refuse to give up the will to God. I know that's going to upset a lot of atheist readers, if its not true why can't they accept the parameters of the search in the heart?
Every time an atheist tells me "I tried searching in my heart and God never never never answered" when I push I find that what he really means is "I tried real hard to do it the way some human being told me I had to." What I have never seen them actually mean is "I really gave up my will." All the people I know who are deeply spiritual and have true and meaningful relationships with God tell me they have given up their wills to God. I think it's an insight of the noetic quality of spiritual experience that we understand intuitively to seek God in the heart means to give up the will to God, giving up our desires, giving up our insistence that God come to us and present himself on our terms. That's what atheists are really saying they want God to do when they demand total absolute scientific evidence that so so strong they can't argue with it.
They keep trading on this conundrum. They keep saying "there's no proof, there's no scientific poof." What they mean is "there's proof that fits my parameters that I control he data and set up the understanding of the God phenomena my way so I will still be in charge." You can see this clearly in the actual insistence for scientific data. It is not unreasonable to demand scientific proof of a scientific hypothesis or of an assertion that the world works in such and such a say, but is unreasonable to except scientific proof of metaphysical and ontological assumptions and then reject metaphorical and ontological proofs on the grounds that they are not scientific. God is beyond our understanding. That means there is scientific proof because God is not a scientific question because God is not given in sense data. The atheist at this point dismisses the whole question as "made up," "imaginary" as though the only two choices in life are either imaginary or total absolute scientific proof. When you tell them there are other kinds of proof they laugh and mock and say "scientific is the only reliable way to know what's real." Not for areas that are not given in sense data. Science can only work in realms of empirical observation. Things that are beyond our empirical observation are not scientific questioned.
There are many such areas that science accepts as "scientific" and true (even though thy may have their detractors) even without scientific proof:
(1) Smoking was deemed harmful decades before a mechanism was discovered through which smoking causes cancer. Smoking was deemed a cause of cancer decades before there was any direct evidence based only on the tight correlation, which any atheist will point out in connection with a God argument is foolish and marks Christians as idiots for believing it.
(2) String theory is the hottest theory going no data. No objective empirical observations to back up string theory, tons of atheists are willing to talk about it as though ti's a proved fact.
(3) consciousness is also in the same ball park.
The list would be huge, inflationary theory, a-causal principle in Quantum theory (there's data to back it but there are schools that interpret the data differently) Oscillating universe, Quantum tunneling, there's a huge list. Science doesn't take the lack of hard evidence as seriously as atheists do when it comes to God arguments. In fact atheists are down right anti-scientific when it comes to scientific data that supports a God hypothesis. Look at the way they mock and ridicule the hundreds of studies I talk about that show that religious experience is real, good for you and not related to mental illness. These studies are all from peer reviewed journals, some are from major figures in social science such as Abraham Maslow, and Hood data on the M scale (the basic lynch pin of the whole field of research) is one of the most strongly verified prices of social science research. Atheists are constrained dismissing that stuff like it's just garbage. They call it 'pseudo science" and they find the most trivial reasons to argue against it. The Atheists on CARM even made the argument that these studies must be bad because one researcher included some of them on a bibliography with a source by Depok Chopra. They didn't even to look at why she quoted Chopra. She could have said he's a fool and quoted him to show that he is, for all they knew. Of course being on a bib with that source has nothing to do with the way the studies are done, but these atheists were dancing around going "we disproved them we beat Metacrock, his studies are crap!" Because they share space on a bib with a source they don't like! O yea they are an excellent example of scientific integrity. It becomes obvious that the demand scientific proof is just an ideolgoical ploy. Look at the way atheists refuse to accept that they part of a movement. There are a dozen national organizations that bring law suits on behalf of atheism they all say the same things, but they still try to argue that it's not a movement and it's not organized.
I refer to "opinion leaders" and to an organized movement that doesn't make it a conspiracy. There's nothing wrong with being in a movement. Feminism is a movement, and liberalism is a movement. I am part of both movement to some extent, and I don't seem them as conspiracies. There's nothing with being part of a movement, but atheists are loath to admit they are part of movement, they are scared to death to even admit a moment exists.This is becasue they have been taught an ideolgoical strategy that says "we don't have a movement." Just as it's obvious they do have one it's equally obvious that their insistence upon scientific proof is an ideological strategy. That move is not logical. It's only true function is propaganda. It's very off putting to a theist to be constantly bombarded by this demand and with the mystique of science in first world it becomes almost a shameful thing for a lot of people to even admit "God is not a scientific question." To a lot of people that's almost like admitting there can't be a God. That's because those people are in awe of the cultural capital science in a culture that isn't taught science very well. Those of us who study history and philosophy of science know better than to be intimidated by such a mindless ploy. Science is not the only form of knowledge, it is not the only way to know reality. God is not just another fact in the universe.
The scientific way of thinking objectifies reality. It reduces the real to a set of data and allows true aspect of the real to be lost between the cracks of empirical observation and reductionist loss of phenomena. Belief in God is not just adding a fact to the universe, it is a realization about the nature of one's place in being. God is the ground of being, not a big man in the sky, God is at the foundation of being, too basic to be part of scientific data, too transcendent to be reduced without losing phenomena. The ground for the search was never meant to be microscopes and telescopes, but the human the heart. It's a test of the wills one must give up the will to find God.
The smoking analogy is not satisfying to me but I can see how it is apt in many ways. The addiction aspect doesn't quite fit because some smokers want to quite and just can't. But atheists are socialized into a cultural construct through which they are, for want of a better term, "brain washed (socialized) by an ideology. The problem it's not analogous to addiction because they don't want to quite. It is analogs to smokers who don't want to quite. Atheists don't' want to believe. Some struggle with belief and maybe they do half want to believe, but their would be belief is conditional upon finding the truth but only if they get it their way meaning, so totally proved they can't argue with it. That is a trick of sin nature because it's an excuse not to view the good evidence (of which there is a ton) in a positive light. That is the glass half empty syndrome.
God is obvious to anyone who is willing to accept the search and truly diligently searches. Because belief in God is actually a realization about one's own relationship to being.