Re: Science and Theology

From: Douglas Barber <>
Date: Mon May 03 2004 - 10:06:27 EDT

Don Winterstein wrote:

> Doug Barber wrote:
> "...I don't think that it is ever the case that theology can even tend to
> discredit a valid empirical hypothesis (that is, an empirical hypothesis
> which is capable of being either true or false). It may give us reason
> to regard what purports to be a valid empirical hypothesis with special
> suspicion...."
> On the other side of this issue we should not lose sight of the fact
> that certain empirical results do not necessarily imply commonly
> deduced theological consequences. <snip>
> Don

I agree with this. In particular, from my point of view, the flip side
of my belief that theology can't discredit a valid empirical hypothesis,
is that no valid empirical hypothesis has any implications whatsoever
regarding ultimate questions of morality, which obviously have great
importance in theology. Science has moral utility, but that usefulness
is limited to statements which already presume a moral objective which
could not itself be justified by any conceivable scientific truth,
statements of the form "If what you want is.....then......" It seems
perfectly clear to me that if God does not somehow reveal which values
we are obliged to regard as highest, we have absolutely no ground on
which to say anything like, "It is better to preserve a life which
annoys us than to extinguish it", except the ground "That's how I feel
about it", and I'd rather not work my way through rush hour traffic in
the midst of a crowd which accepts that point of view, or be part of a
pesky minority in a democratic society where the majority felt that way.
As to questions of how God intervenes in the world, I can't think of any
possible way that science could answer them, I agree completely with Jan
de Koning on this point.

Received on Mon May 3 10:07:06 2004

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