Re: Theism & MNS

From: David F Siemens <>
Date: Sun Feb 19 2006 - 19:44:39 EST

This confuses the issue. MNS does not exclude the deity, it merely
recognizes that no man can control God. This also means that miracles do
not fall under scientific analysis. There is a system that places
nonnatural or supernatural forces under human control. The common name
for this is magic.

On Fri, 17 Feb 2006 13:09:58 -0800 (PST) Timothy Kennelly
<> writes:
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 ther e might be peaceful co-existence between the two. (One might
understand abortion or the conflict over Stem Cell research in the same
(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 Sun Feb 19 21:18:24 2006

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