In an age of growing scientism, we often find that many atheists won’t believe in something unless it can be scientifically confirmed. This should be called to attention because if things cannot be evidentially proven by science, doesn’t that mean God is out of the question? Since there is no test that we can run or satellite we can send out to locate God, is the possibility of God impossible since it cannot be proven empirically by science that there is a God? In addition to asking whether we should believe in God despite there not being 100% empirical evidence proving that God does exist, we should also inquire as to whether or not this is a wise way to approach any problem. Should we solely rely upon the results of science in order for our senses to allow for potential theistic considerations? These are many questions that should be looked at more closely and thoughtfully considered before placing too many of our eggs in the science basket.
Please, don’t misunderstand me. I love science. It has validated the claims theists have been making for hundreds of years. However, is it still rational to place stock in God despite science not being able to empirically prove there is an existent God? And, are there things science is incapable of proving? The answer to both of those questions is YES.
In the above video, we see that Dr. William Lane Craig lists off five things science cannot prove but we are all rational to accept. I’ve listed the five things science cannot prove and included an example:
1. Logical and mathematical truths (science presupposes logic and math)
2. Metaphysical truths (there are minds other than my own, the external world is real, the past wasn’t created 5 minutes ago with the appearance of age)
3. Ethical beliefs about statements of value (Whether the Nazi scientists in Germany did anything evil as opposed to doing anything good)
4. Aesthetic judgments (beautiful vs. ugly)
5. Science cannot be justified by the scientific method1
Notice that many people who make the claim that science is all there is and say that science is the only reliable vehicle for confirming anything about life often discredit the usage of philosophy. You often hear prominent atheists like Richard Dawkins, Peter Atkins, and Lawrence Krauss discount the importance of philosophy simply because they have anointed science with supreme kingship over all other methods of data retrieval and sincerely believe that science can prove everything. In fact, they’ve gone so far as to declare that it isn’t a fact unless it can be scientifically proven.
To look at only one example of how science fails to answer every single question we can look to the moral argument. As said in the third objection posed by Dr. Craig, science cannot determine what is and is not moral. As prominent atheist Sam Harris has successfully shown in his book, “The Moral Landscape”, you may only scientifically prove what helps organisms flourish and not how their morals are founded in a sense of objective moral right and wrong2.
In conclusion, scientism fails to view the entire picture. In partaking in a worldview that only allows scientific findings, you are willingly removing yourself from important philosophical conclusions which may have theistic implications. It is safe to say that God is still a rational conclusion despite the scientific evidence not showing that God is empirically true. However, there are no absolutes in life. The best we can do is to objectively view the evidence that we have accessible to us, scientific and non-scientific. Needless to say, science has brought theists large amounts of credibility with the discovery of the big bang, recognition of the fine-tuning of the universe, identifying the complexity contained within our DNA, and our vast understanding of biology, geology, astronomy, and cosmology. While science is a tool that has granted us insight into God, it shouldn’t be viewed as though it is the only method of insight and nor should it be treated as a monopoly on information as many atheists claim that it is.
1 William Lane Craig vs. Peter Atkins debate (April 1998 in Atlanta, GA)
2 William Lane Craig vs. Sam Harris debate on “Is the Foundation of Morality Natural or Supernatural?” at Notre Dame University on April 2011