Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Alister McGrath: Science Has Nothing To Say About God?

Alister McGrath claims that science has nothing to say about the ultimate questions of God, but this is untrue, since psychology is a science. People debate whether psychology is a "science," by the way, but since science is simply a method by which we investigate something, and psychology is the application of that method to investigate the human mind, it is safe to say (arguably) that science DOES have something to say about God, even if plenty of "believers" don't like what it has to say.

Of course "believers" do not like what psychology has to say about God, if psychology says God is simply a projection of our desire to avoid death, personified in a divine father figure that resemble ourselves more than anything else.  If psychology concludes that our desire to have meaning is an indication of the existence of God, McGrath would probably change his story and insist that science has plenty to say about God - namely, that our desire for God is some indication of the existence of God.

And this is basically the very thing McGrath does to prove God exists.

For McGrath, the deeper questions of life -  like why are we here, who are we, what is the meaning of life, and so on -  cannot be answered by science. But again, if psychology is the application of the scientific method to our own mind, and these questions are all found in our mind, than "science" has plenty to say about "God."

 But even if McGrath denies this, his argument, once stripped of its frothy rhetoric that would make even the Sophists proud, amounts to nothing but the suggestion that our questions must come from God.  Since we HAVE these questions, and science can't answer them, therefore GOD!

This, however, is like assuming that our appetite for food and fluids is not simply the by product of our mortal human nature, because we obviously require food and water to survive, but an indication of a food and drink that will allows us to live forever. If we crave food because our bodies run on food, therefore there is eternal bread of life, in short. And by comparison, if our brain is a "meaning" seeking machine, the way our body is a food seeking machine, therefore there is a God who is the ultimate meaning of all.

This is essentially the argument that C. S. Lewis offered when he argued that our appetites indicate something beyond them, but he never feels the need to explain why anyone should accept his conclusion which so clearly requires a '"leap of faith" to reach. And worse, nor does he ever feel the need to explain why, even if we accept that there is a "god" of some sort, why such a "god" would be anything like he so emphatically insists such a God must be?

McGrath admit his "beliefs" can never be proved, but he never bothers to explain why he thinks he has the right, and the God given responsibly therefore, to impose those beliefs on everyone else - is it just so he can reap bigger rewards for himself in heaven?

The real problem is that such Christians fail to realize that it is not their "belief" in God that is the biggest problem, since McGrath admits such a "belief" can never be proved, but the false "belief" that Christianity makes people better, even though it does not.  And it most certainly does not when such a "belief" is imposed upon people agaisnt their will, like children, or Native Americans, or countless others that Christians have forced to accept Jesus at the end of a sword or musket. 

The only people who are "improved" by a belief in God are those who were already improving to begin with, after all, and their "conversion" is simply so they can frame their thoughts into some form which they can then articulate. Anyone who converts out of fear of hell or hope for heaven, however, is never "improved," since they are only accepting their beliefs to escape their own inability to deal with reality on their own.


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