The purpose of this blog is to provide insights from the Christian perspective. It exists to present the elementary teachings of the Glorious Gospel through the preaching of sound doctrine, providing biblical exegesis, and by conducting apologetics. The Apostle Paul gave the following exhortation, "...that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another." (1 Corinthians 4:6)
Friday, April 28, 2017
Is Faith Irrational? (Refutation Of Scientism)
-Atheists commonly portray Christians as establishing their beliefs on an empty shell of faith. In other words, opponents of Christianity argue that the entire religion is based on belief without any substantiated evidence. It is claimed that Christians uphold their beliefs on completely biased and irrational grounds, which means that they are allegedly based on personal feelings and so-called revelations. Many atheists maintain that we must possess "factual evidence" in order to believe in something with any degree of certainty. In summary, they reject the validity of anything that cannot be proven or tested in a laboratory. The people who subscribe to this view, known as scientism, automatically deem things that are beyond the scope of a laboratory to be false. A great deal of atheists and naturalists are quick to rule out the possibility of truth in anything that does not appeal to their five senses.
-On the contrary, it is quite unreasonable to dismiss any given idea (the concept of religion) as being false when there is no "scientific evidence" for establishing such a denial. The people who subscribe to scientism (including famous proponents such as Richard Dawkins) are being utterly inconsistent with their own ideological framework (that everything must be proven or disproved in a laboratory) because they are not making a verdict in accordance to the known facts. What atheists term as "no evidence" (for the existence of God) cannot simply be regarded as "evidence against" the existence of God. Silence is not a substitute for evidence or reason. It is not reasonable to suggest that faith is inherently superstitious, since there are many things that we know to be real but cannot offer tangible evidence for (consider, for example, our own existence).
Misrepresenting Biblical Faith:
-Faith in itself is not merely a mental conviction that is founded without evidence. It is not equivalent to blind submission. It is not simply an irrational whim or a form of wishful thinking. There is a relationship between the notions of faith and certainty. We must have certainty beyond a shadow of a doubt in order to truly believe in anything. Our faith must be tested or proven. It must be based on reason, which operates on the basis of our free will. Our faith is based on reason. It is based on what we know to be true. This is what constitutes true, biblical faith in the fundamental tenants of the Christian religion. Faith and reason do not contradict, but rather compliment and supplement each other.
Boundaries Of Scientific Investigation:
-Additionally, it is impossible to examine the truth of everything that we have seen or heard each day. Our lives are simply too short to test the validity of everything that we may have learned, whether we obtained knowledge from experience, education, or from some other source. Neither are we able to possess infallible certainty because our minds are limited by design. We are all liable to error. To doubt the truth behind everything would inevitably result in infinite regression. This would undermine the concept of certainty, as well as it would trust. It would corrode the objectivity of education and court rulings. Humans inevitably have faith, which includes atheists because they claim to have reasons for rejecting the God of the Bible. Faith is necessary for relationships. We can know things beyond a shadow of a doubt. Hence, it is wrong for atheists to charge that any degree of faith is irrational. They inevitably have a degree of faith because the existence of God cannot be disproven. Do atheists have faith in their own existence? The real problem is that skeptics are refusing to accept the evidence that Christians present in favor of the biblical worldview, as well as arguments in favor of God's existence.
Understanding That Scientific Inquiry Has Limitations (And Thereby Refutes Scientism):
-Let us consider for a moment some of the essential features of human life. We have free will. We have conscience. We have rationality. We have intellect. We acknowledge the existence of moral truths. We know that human life has intrinsic value. We yearn for an ultimate purpose in life. Mathematics consists of several infallible formulas, proofs, and theorems. Universals, propositions, and possible worlds are examples of abstract realities. There are principles of beauty and artistic innovation, which are known as aesthetics. The universe came into being for a reason. Physical constants have a fine-tuning. Scientific laws themselves are based on major (empirically unverifiable) assumptions. If scientism is true, then all of the aforementioned ideas must be rejected as false because they cannot be verified by the scientific method. In fact, science would be self-refuting. From this perspective, none of the previously mentioned notions would be true, let alone applicable to our lives. Truths do exist beyond the scope of the scientific laboratory. It does not contain all the answers to the questions of life. What we are arguing against is a "science only" worldview, not science itself.