This article, by Peter Wehner, appeared in March 17, 2020 issue of The Atlantic.
Great article. I especially liked this part when he talked about the interactions of science and faith:
I asked Collins what he hopes more Christians would understand about science and what he hopes more scientists would understand about faith.
“To Christians I would say, think of science as a gift from the Creator. The curiosity that we have been instilled with to understand how the universe works can inspire even greater awe of the Creator. This gift could hardly be a threat to God, the author of it all. Celebrate what science can teach us. Think of science as a form of worship.”
“Scientists, by their nature, are trying to understand how nature works. And I think the message to scientists has to be there are really important questions that fall outside of what science is able to address meaningfully, such as ‘Why is there something instead of nothing? What is the meaning of love? Is there a God? What happens after you die?’ Those are not questions for which science or scientific methods can be applied.” He believes scientists would be better served by getting outside of a mindset which says that the only questions worth asking are those about the material world.
“It constricts the universe of important questions to assume they are all questions that science can address.”
I saw this all over Facebook this morning. Great article. It makes me feel better knowing some good people have influence in our scientific institutions and government, because my confidence level in the government is at an all-time low.
Today I said “Man, Fauci and Collins are literally holding our entire country together right now.”
I’m sorry, this is all so second rate. From a rational point of view they are all non-questions. They don’t have to be asked. No non-physicalist ‘answer’ to them helps in the slightest. There has always been something. Love means enlightened self interest, having to live with yourself, you name it; we all know what it feels like. There is no rational warrant for the eternal ground of infinite being to be purposeful. When we die, we don’t come back, we’re gone, we’re not here any more.
And I want to believe.
Perhaps, if you assume that a rational point of view is all that matters, but Collins is pushing back against that notion.
No more than any of us Laura. With no more credentials. No authority. But with less honesty. Blind to vain superiority. It makes me feel like I’m at work being gaslit by my boss.
I’m not so sure. I don’t think there is any external agency watching over everything and seriously doubt I will exist after death anymore than I did before birth. But pretty much all the others are plenty meaningful and not entirely obvious. Even the question of does God exist rightfully deserves an answer given its long provenance in human societies. Leastwise I think the question of what it was that gave rise to and continues to support belief in gods deserves an answer, and I don’t expect the answer to be something obvious and easily dismissed. I think that inquiry can still pay dividends in terms of self knowledge whether or not you buy the entire nine yards. The trouble is, who will care or take them seriously without the intimation of major consequences? (Me for one.)
The answer is in the leastwise. In the evolution of our righteous minds. How we steer through societies that are at least 80% ignorant of that even with major consequences is certainly germane.
Fi4rst of all what do you want to believe?
Without wanting to put words in your mouth, you want to believe in the Good.
That is somewhat strange because most people would say that the Rational is good, but you have defined the rational so it is not good. You have accepted the God of the Philosophers Who is not Good, because that god is not relational. The God of the philosophers is not Real either because he has no beginning and Reality has a Beginning.
You have limited your Reality to physicalism, so nothing beyond the physical, be it love, hope, faith, and God are false. Of course you do not believe. Is it really rational to think that life is empty and without meaning? Do you believe in anything beyond yourself?
: ) but you go on to put them and falsely nonetheless.
I want to believe that there is transcendent, sublime purpose beyond the material.
The rational is neither good nor not good. Being rational is good in that it accords with, faces reality.
I have no idea who the God of the Philosophers Who is not Good because he’s not relational is.
I’m only interested in God. And a God who has a beginning is meaningless.
I haven’t limited my Reality to physicalism. Reality does that. Love and hope and faith are true. And physical. Of course I believe. Who said life was empty? And of course, I believe in you.
That which is the purpose of life is the Spiritual. The Spiritual is Love which is not physical.
You need to research the God of the Philosophers. This God is Absolute because he is beyond time and space. He is transcendent, which means he is beyond humans and this world. In a real sense Jesus Christ came to show that God is not the god of the Philosophers.
Jesus is the Logos Who is God with us, not God above us. Jesus came to love as a human being, to show us how to live, to suffer and die for us, and to arise from the dead to live with God’s people forever.
“I haven’t limited my Reality to physicalism. Reality does that.”
To say that Reality limits Reality to physicalism is a cop out. You made that choice. Maybe you think that you have good reason, but it is a choice which you made and can unmake.
To be sure it is my position that Reality indicates that Reality triune. This is because God is Triune, but i6t is confirmed repeatedly by Reality itself, so there is little question that Reality is physical, rational, and spiritual.
God does not have a beginning, because God is Spirit, but the Creation does. Love, hope, and faith are rational and spiritual.
I am more than my body, which you have never experienced. I am my Mind. I am my Spirit. So if you believe in me, you believe in a world that is more than physical.