Theism & MNS

From: Timothy Kennelly <>
Date: Fri Feb 17 2006 - 16:09:58 EST

Greetings to All.
  I am new to this list.
  The approach which characterises modern natural science (MNS) requires the assumption that there is not an active deity. MNS does the preclude the belief in God, but the belief in an active deity, a god who causes miracles (a revealed God, if you will). A God or god of nature, who does not do anything contrary to nature will not be at odds with MNS. (I will described such a god as veiled...think of Schleiermacher, ha, ha, ha.) One can make an ad hoc argument in which MNS co-exists with miracles, it has been done and is done all of the time, but touching the miracle(s) there will be a conflict and MNS is suspended as if by a devine act (yet more humor).
The conflict between MNS and the active deity might be seen, with noted magnification, in the history of New Testamant Biblical criticism (among those on the moderate to left side of Protestantism). A reading of Schweitzer, or Bultmann, or Albright, or D.F. Strauss or Bornkamm, etc. or Ludemann to name a more recent author brings the conflict to light. One sees that they work with MNS presuppostions [1) an ordered universe & 2) no active deity] (although the nomenclature is different)and in some cases they suspend judgement or admit to finding a special case in the resurrection of Jesus. (They also work with hermeneutic presuppositions which suffer far more variation than the presuppositions of MNS [or rationalism or to a degree with modification empiricism]).[One might also read Spinoza, Maimonides or Leo Strauss although these authors are more difficult and employ writing mathod unfamiliar to a wide audience.]
In any case I am arguing emphatically that MNS is not neutral on the revealed God quetion. Where the God is revealed, in the miracle, there there will of necessity be conflict between MNS and religious faith. Faith understands the event in one way science in another, it is folly to suggest there might be peaceful co-existence between the two. (One might understand abortion or the conflict over Stem Cell research in the same way.)
(I have mixed a variety of different terms into that argument, but the differences are not of particular concern (although they are real)active deity ~ revealed deity ~ God working miracles ~ gods working miracles, etc.) Of course the different nomenclatures do represent different traditions, etc.
  This post is imperfect, but time will not allow me to write more.
The Very Warmest Regards to All,
  Timothy E. Kennelly

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Received on Fri Feb 17 16:10:58 2006

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