A theological argument for the impossibility of proving God by science


#1

The lattest discussions here in the forum have got me thinking a little bit about that. There is actual theological reasons for why we shouldn’t expect to prove God by science, like ID and the like, it roughly goes as follows:

  • If God wanted to make his existence blatantly obvious, or at least provable in a scientifical level, he could just hang on the skyes saying “I exist” or realign the stars and the planets forming the message “I’m here”, like atheists suggested.

  • So, believing that you can set up a scientific experiment that will “prove God” is basically saying that you can outsmart God and catch him unprepared and force him to show up against his will. If God is perfect and can’t fail, that is just nonsense.

So what you guys think? I think that shows that is actually very arrogant of ID defenders to think that they can find “footprints of God” in evolution, for instance.


(Mark D.) #2

Now all we need is a good non theological argument for the impossibility of proving no God.

If the God is perfectly hidden then the absence of evidence for the existence of the hidden God cannot be construed as evidence of non existence. In my experience most nonbelievers simply find there is no reason for believing and leave it at that. But some are still trying to make a case for nonexistence.


(Matthew Pevarnik) #3

That’d be easiest for all people, though he’d have to be sure to have multiple translations available and also an audio version for say the 88% of people in the world as of 1820 who were illiterate and the 17% of people in the world today who are illiterate, some of which may be part of the 253,000,000 who are visually impaired and of which are hopefully not part of the 466,000,000 who also live with disabling hearing loss. In that case, a divine dream should suffice but honestly, Ii’d be much more efficient to put his initials on these puppies and call it a day:
image

Or perhaps a subtle beauty feature like adding chins to your favorite species, homo sapiens, while keeping them off of our closest hominid ancestors is also a nice trick.

Gotta think more about your idea though :smiley:


#4

I haven’t thought about that…chins are surely irreducibly complex, I think ID might have a point this time!


#5

I like using multiverses as an analogy. If you pick Sagan’s “Dragon in the garage” story and apply it to multiverses, nothing really changes, but I doubt most atheists would be as skeptical of multiverses as they are of God. It goes to show that the argument is not as good as it sounds, and it just looks that way because of the preconceived notion that some atheists hold that the existence of God is a idea that is as ridiculous as an invisible dragon in the garage, while the idea of a multiverse is not.


(Mark D.) #6

Well I’ve never seen a dragon or a god but I’ve seen a number of representations providing a sense of the scale and structure of the visible universe such as this old chestnut.

When thinking about the visible universe it is easy to wonder what lies beyond. We understand that the limit of the visible universe is set by the uniform background noise of the big bang which forms a kind of shell around what we can perceive. That doesn’t mean nothing can be going on at a still larger scale; it just means if there is, we won’t be in a position to detect it. So a multiverse is not such a mysterious idea and there is a comprehensible reason for why it is ‘hidden’, if it exists at all.

By comparison we cannot detect God apart from the visible universe at any level of magnification. What’s more, if God is hidden there is no comprehensible reason for it. It is reported that in the past God has made Himself known to people directly, but why He wouldn’t do so today is not known. We have no good simulation of God’s nature. God is something that has left no trace. About the only thing God has in common with the multiverse is that neither is directly observable.


(Marvin Adams) #8

Science based on the assumption of God as far as it is based on the axiom of ultimate reason and that by the ultimate reason reality is bound by laws of logic, e.g. the logos. As such science assumes God and uses it as the axiomatic base structure of reality by which to propose theories towards understanding those laws and how they govern material reality, e.g the things we can measure. As such science is not in any need to prove God as it is based on the idea of God’s existence trying to work out the laws that were imposed upon our universe since its beginning.

It takes an Atheist to believe in the existence of God if he would find a Galaxy that looks like the word “I am here”, particularly one that speaks but does not think in English :slight_smile: Surely the same guys would also think they could prove that the number one exist by looking at a stick insect.

If one can’t see “Here I am” written all over the universe one more writing would not make a difference to those who’s eyes are an example of failed design, as are their brains :-).


#11

I understand your reasoning, but that is basically an induction argument, which goes as follows:

  • We know our universe exists and that the big bang occurred, therefore one could imagine that other universes and other big bangs could have happened elsewhere.

But the thing is that we can use inductive arguments to arrive at the conclusion that God exists as well, such as the principle of suficient reason of Leibniz. The problem with both arguments is that they rely on extending our reasoning beyond of what can be tested, which is, as Kant said “using purely reason” to arrive at a conclusion, one nice example he gives is “a bird, feeling the burden of breaking the air’s resistence to move foward, could induce that he would be able to fly faster if there was no air to give resistance, but in reality, such a condition would make it impossible for him to fly at all”, and numerous other examples. So providing a logical framework by which something could possibly exist is not good enough if we can’t test it, and as I said before, we could (and many philosopher’s had) do the same for God. And who said that God left no trace? If God is indeed the creator of the universe, then the whole universe (or multiverse) is a trace of his existence! The problem lies exactly in the fact that we can’t test if that is the case.


#12

That is a theist scientist view, but we can’t prove that the atheist view of the laws of nature just being there as brute facts is wrong either.


#13

Then show me a scientific experiment that proves God. Also, what would be the point of faith if God’s existence could be scientifically proved?


(Mark D.) #14

In the case of a multiverse one must at least make it clear that speculation about its possibility is no more or less farfetched than assuming that what came from the one big bang posited is all that there can be. In other words, there is no more evidence that what we can see is all there is than there is for supposing big bangs and universe formation may be abundant.


#15

Maybe, but we do know that this universe exist, so the burden of proof goes to the one that claims that lots of other, unseen universes exist. Just to be clear, I particularly believe in multiverses, but just as my belief in God, I admit that is something that I can’t prove.


#16

Sometimes things that make a lot of sense in the light of science prove to be false, here are two quick examples:

They made perfect sense, until they were tested and proved to be false (and latter explained why by other more advanced theories). There is no escape, if no testing is possible, it is just belief. It is interesting to note also that both examples were thought to be real by inference from the current knowledge (a.k.a Pure reason).


(Mark D.) #17

Understood and so do I assume a multiverse is more likely just by dead reckoning. But the existence of the one universe we see is no more evidence for thinking it is the one and only one than it is for thinking it is part of something larger. It would be safer to say there is at least one universe and leave it at that.


#18

Agreed, by the same token I can say that believing the laws of nature are just brute facts and there is no meaning in the universe is just as good as believing that there might be a law-maker/God behind them. And the safer statement is just to say “the universe operates by certain laws of nature that we can discover through science” and leave at that.


(Chris Falter) #19

Hi Mike,

Hope you’re having a blessed day.

Re: the Scripture citations, I would like to point out that Baconian science (methodological naturalism) is the foundation of modern science. And it did not exist until the 17th century.

So yes, God’s power and glory manifested in nature leave us without excuse. But the way we discern that power and glory is not the scientific method.

Grace and peace,
Chris Falter


#22

A theological argument for the impossibility of proving God by SCIENCE. If you agree there is no such experiment, then we don’t have any disagreement.


#24

The hiddenness of God is theologically debated, so I don’t see your point:

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/divine-hiddenness/

Moreover, I’m not saying that a scientific proof is needed for believing in God, I’m just saying that such proof is impossible, I myself believe in God while also believing that it is impossible to prove it by science.


#26

Why would God show himself in a scientific experiment and not by someone asking “please God, make a lightning strike 50 times in a row at that tree so I can prove your existence to my atheist friend?”. If he wanted to give us scientific proof that we could hammer on the head of non-believers that would be much more easy, that is the point of the argument.


#28

Well, proving his existence by science would essentially amount to that.

These are one-time events, science is about reproductibility, so it is still not scientific proof.

I get the feeling that we actually agree in this topic, but you are too ofended by what you think I said to actually think it over calm and rationally…