Today’s podcast episode features Templeton Prize winner physicist Marcelo Gleiser, who considers himself a religious agnostic but he has consistently pushed back against the extreme scientism views that leave no place for religion.
I like this podcast, and I appreciated how they talked about making room for religion and science, or something like that. I can’t remember the phrasing.
But I was a little alarmed in the latter half went both Stump and Gleiser seemed to agree that religious faith should not want any evidence. It almost sounded like Gleiser thought religious faith should be blind.
But I don’t think that is ever the case with the Judeo Christian faith. I think the Bible even rebukes blind faith. And it’s been my impression that BioLogos does not promote it either, so perhaps it was a misunderstanding. ( I can’t go back in “the episode right now.)
So I mean, for example, you can have a very reasonable discussion with her an agnostic about how all the rationality in the universe is evidence of a creator. Faith is not based on purely subjective evidence. The fact that rationality seems to govern the universe, that scientists even assume that rationality governs the universe, that is evidence for believing in God. If science has taught us anything over the past 2000 years, it has taught us to have faith that rationality governs the universe.
After listening myself, I think they were primarily in agreement that with our limited knowledge about the universe, we can’t KNOW anything for certain, and that requires having faith. Jim can correct me if I’m wrong.
Hi Matt, thanks for your comments. I certainly do not agree that faith is just believing without evidence, when we understand that word in a normal, everyday sense. I think what Marcelo wanted to do was to make words like “evidence” and “explanation” part of the strictly scientific discourse. I’m not persuaded that is correct, but agree that the kinds of evidence we have for God are not just results of empirical tests (or whatever).
For myself, I think faith is better understood as commitment to a belief system, to a worldview, to a way of way of life and a way of seeing the world. Understood that way, there are all kinds of “evidences”.
My biggest concern with Marcelo was his insistence on calling God the “unknowable”. That would be utterly unimaginable to the Apostle Paul, who wrote “I know whom I have believed in” (2 Tim 1:12).
Oh that’s right, that’s what you were focusing on the knowability of God, which was excellent. I got distracted because it’s so common to hear people talking about religious faith as if it must be blind. But the knowability of God is the more important matter.