Re: Fragility and tendentiousness

From: Steve Petermann (
Date: Fri Sep 19 2003 - 15:09:05 EDT

  • Next message: Steve Petermann: "Re: Fragility and tendentiousness"

    Dr. Nelson wrote:
    > At the end of the day, I think Kung is right that your
    > choices are nihilism or theism if you follow through
    > the consquences of various worldviews.

    I agree with this, but I think I need to define what I mean by a "scientific
    worldview". Perhaps there's better term to use. By scientific worldview I do
    *not* mean scientism. Rather I mean a respect for what science says about
    the way the cosmos operates. In my view this does not necessitate the
    exclusion of religion or theism. It just says that within the limited scope
    of the tools science has, what is says about the way the universe works
    should be respected and perhaps accepted.

    The point you keep making that science cannot logically exclude
    supernaturalism is a truism. I never contented that science could. My
    contention and that of many others is that as science has discovered the
    natural causes for the unfolding of the cosmos, it has raised the specter of
    skepticism surrounding supernatural causation.

    All major religions and all major religious scriptures describe supernatural
    events. Example: Hinduism has a story that the universe began as a giant
    egg. It also describes supernatural events surrounding the Krishna, an
    incarnation of Brahman. Christianity does not have a lock on supernaturalism
    or even remarkable scriptural claims. Does science logically destroy these
    claims? No. The challenge for supernaturalism is not the logic of it. The
    challenge is its believability. Believability is not solely based on logic.
    It is a gestalt of reason, emotion, intuition, knowledge, etc. Just because
    someone can mount a logical case for something does not make it compelling.
    The scholastics could do that but there approach was obviously not that
    compelling since it was supplanted.

    Is it possible that Krishna blew a tornado away? Yes. Is it possible that
    Jesus walked on water? Yes. The real question is not that but now
    compelling those stories are to people who are regularly confronted with
    natural causation and *never* experience supernatural causation.

    Steve Petermann

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