Material/physical science could confirm or eliminate various religious claims that should be detected in the material world.

When the Hindu claims that a certain mountain range in India is actually a huge snake under the surface, science can falsify that. If the revealed portion of their religion demands that the snake hypothesis is true, then that "revelation" is false and the Hindu is in a dilemma if he wants to keep his view.

The Christian example of a 6,000-year universe is a case wherein the revealed portion of the religion does not demand a "young earth" view. Since the Hebrew language in Genesis allows (and seems to indicate in places) an old universe, the Christian can embrace that view in keeping with the evidence.

If tomorrow we discovered indisputably that the universe is only 6 to 10 - thousand years old (that ain't gonna happen), I would shrug my shoulders and say I guess the young-earth view was correct! It's not an essential of the Christian Faith but is a peripheral issue.

But in what way could the science you're talking about detect God himself? If God exists, he is immaterial, timeless, and spaceless, etc.  Science is therefore limited to investigating vestiges or indications of God predicted by theism or the revealed portion of the religion(s), but then any speculations as to what can be inferred by scientific studies moves out of the realm of science per se, and into the realm of philosophy.

So what are some things that Christian Theism would affirm or predict according to both Natural Theology and Revealed Theology that science could investigate? Examples would be:

  • A finite universe.
  • Widespread belief in God or an ontologically ultimate being.
  • An enduring "religious" interest and nature innate in every culture.
  • Intricate design in the universe from the Big Bang to biological systems.
  • Widespread belief in objective moral values and duties.
  • Archeological discoveries of sites and artifacts crucial to the claims of Christianity.
  • Historical confirmations and indications of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Secondly, even if certain scientific discoveries lead to considerations that God exists, it requires further philosophical/theological speculation as to which of the World Religions has the best candidate for God.

Finally, as a Christian Theist, I think scientific discovery will progressively confirm the following predictions:

  • Continual confirmation of cosmological models that require an absolute beginning (even in the case of multi-verses or oscillation).
  • Neurological studies that indicate mind and brain interact but are distinct to the extent that mind is not reducible to brain (or physical components).
  • Further discoveries of conditions and constants in the Big Bang itself that are fine-tuned for intelligent life.
  • No discoveries will conclusively overturn the historical and archeological confirmations supporting the origins of Christianity, but will continue to affirm it.

 

Tags: Christ, Christianity, archeology, falsification, neurology, of, predictions, resurrection, scientific

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God and science do not mix, as what is predicted in science, must then be confirmed. The religious do not put such conditions on belief.  Belief in a god is not evidence of a god--no matter which god it is.

As for archeological/historical" facts" --there are none for your bible, or your god.  Read, or go to youtube and watch "The Bible Unearthed" --where scholars will admit there is no archeological evidence for the existence of your god.  Towns and cities, yes, but we find those in Harry Potter books as well, that does not make Harry Potter real either.

It depends on what you mean by "mix". Do you agree that science (as you seem to be using the term) is limited to the material realm? If so, then we can only draw philosophical or metaphysical conclusions or inferences from confirmed scientific discovery concerning God.

Archeological evidence only comes into play concerning the revealed portion of the religion. And then, discoveries would only lend weight to the revealed claims or falsify them.

For example, Joseph Smith declared that a huge battle took place on a hill in New York State long ago killing thousands. Yet not one vestige - not so much as an arrow head - has been found at that location. That does not bode well for the "revelation".

On the other hand, Luke's mention of multiple islands, cities, and countries, etc., without making one mistake, does not prove the claims of the book of Acts, but it does lend historical support.

Comparing Harry Potter and, say, the New Testament, is not valid. The former is of fictional genre and the latter is historical/biographical genre.

I have the book The Bible Unearthed. I agree that archeology cannot confirm God, but only lend weight to the consideration in the way I've described.

In regards to science, the bible tells us that disease is caused by demons, but we know by experimentation that the germ theory is superior to the demon theory of disease as the best explanation.  We know that rain forms in the clouds to maximum saturation, which is a better explanation than god opening the "flood gates of heaven" etc.

What do you mean by the "revealed" portion of your religion, as all you have is the bible, which, as any good biblical historian can tell you, has NO real historicity. This, in addition to the multiple contradictions interpolations, and inconsistencies within the text, makes it unreliable. Read anything by Bart Ehrman.

In fact, Hinduism has far more historicity than Christianity, as the Bhagavad Gita is said to be dictated by Krishna to Prince Arjuna.

Events such as Paul's "visions", Jesus' "miracles" the so-called "resurrection" can be found in many other religions as well--they are not unique, and neither is your religion.  Why, even Alexander the Great was considered half man and half god--but I bet you do not believe that either.

 

The bible is NOT in the historical/biographical genre. As I said, most reliable historians will tell you that.

It is in fact a compilation of various myths from various groups of people with a wee bit of historical reference thrown in.

 

Here are some references for the historicity of Krishna:

 

Dr. Bimanbihari Majumdar, 1968: “The western scholars at first treated Krishna as a myth... But many of the Orientalists in the present century have arrived at the conclusion that Krishna was a ksatriya warrior who fought at Kuruksetra,...”

Majundar, Bimanbihari. Krishna in the History and Legend. University of Calcutta. 1969, pp. 5

 

Horace H. Wilson, 1870: “Rama and Krishna, who appear to have been originally real and historical characters,…”

Wilson, Horace H. The Visnu Purana. Nag Publishers. 1989, pp. ii

 

Rudolf Otto, 1933: “That Krishna himself was a historical figure is indeed quite indubitable.”

Otto, Rudolf. The Original Gita, cit. for Majumdar Bimanbihari, ot. cit. pp. 5

 

 

 

 

Let's back up please. I asked, "Do you agree that science (as you seem to be using the term) is limited to the material realm?"

We should deal with that first. But in the meantime, the Bible does not attribute disease to demons, but only that there is a demonic realm which can sometimes cause disease. Out of all the people Christ healed, only a few were directly of demonic origin.

God's "opening the floodgates" is merely poetic or literary descriptions of secondary causation, i.e. God creates systems that produce effects without direct intervention.

We can engage in "scholar wars" if you wish. There are multiple scholars of all stripes who affirm the historicity of the Bible. Drs. William Lane Craig and Mike Licona, among others, have responded to Ehrman.

Again, we seem to agree on the limits of history as confirming the main message of a religion, but can verify that the sources of the message cannot be ruled out historically. Once we're at least in the historical ball park, we can consider the message (and apply other tests).

(Many religions do not depend on historical events - just an assent to a set of principles or philosophy. However, Christianity is tied to historical events so can be falsified historically).

 

Science is only limited to what can be tested or inferred from observation.  It does not purport to know what is not known. Christians ought to follow Kierkegaard's advice, and just admit their religion is based on faith and NOT knowledge.  Faith being belief without evidence.  While knowledge is true, justified belief. 

 

Scholars can say whatever they want to.  The fact of the matter is--whether or not the bible meets the conditions of historicity--and it DOES NOT.  Or, if we accept the type of reasoning that is used to claim the bible has historicity, then it has less historicity than religions such as Hinduism, and several other religions. Here is a link to the Hindu references and claims for historicity:http://www.veda.harekrsna.cz/encyclopedia/historical-krsna2.htm

 

Note, that just because a religion does not depend on historical events, does not mean it does not have historical events.  Now the fact various religions can rely on their principles and philosophy, attest to the fact that they are philosophically more consistent and sound than that of Christianity, and so they do not need, as you say "to rely on history"

 

When you cannot stomach what the bible says, it is claimed to be "hyperbole" or "symbolic"  Now, the bible does use a lot of hyperbole and symbolism--I grant you that.  In fact, Jesus being the "son of god" might be an example of hyperbole.  For instance, I often say "Me and my grandmother are one."  meaning that our thinking is so much alike, and that our beliefs are so similar, that we are "one."  Now, in the case of the bible. how do you determine whether it is hyperbole, symbolism, or literal?--Wait, I know!  Humpty Dumpty style--you make words mean whatever you want them to mean!

So you agree then that science, as you describe is limited to the empirical world. What follows for our discussion is that philosophical or metaphysical inferences or conclusions can come from what empirical science shows, as well as what it cannot show. This is where science and theology/philosophy overlap.

Even your statement "It does not purport to know what is not known" is a philosophical statement about science. You cannot prove your very statement scientifically.

Faith is not a way of knowing something. Faith is what one does with what one knows or thinks one knows. I agree that knowledge is justified true belief. And while it is justified to believe you are not a brain in a vat being stimulated to have these experiences, you cannot prove it is true that you are not a brain in a vat with 100% certainty.

You put your trust (faith) in the proposition that you are an external person to a brain in a vat (the most justified position). The same with Christian faith or trust. I can put my faith in the Worldview that I think best explains all the data of life. I say that is Christian Theism, you seem to say it is some form of Naturalism.

Also, I'm saying that some religious or philosophical systems do not depend on historical events (even if they have historical events). Christianity depends on the historicity of Christ and the verification of his claims.

As to historical claims in competing religions or worldviews, I clearly said that historicity can get you in the ballpark to at least consider the claims. But each view must be examined on its own merits.

You determine metaphor and hyperbole in the Bible the same way you do other (in this case, ancient) literature - by using proper linguistic tools, analysis, and exegesis to get context and what the author meant, etc.

 

Yes, the deeper we look the more we find and the material universe grows while the metaphysical shrinks.

That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

I agree. Here's another: Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence.
Hi Kevin - maybe so but I will consider it absent until it is shown.
Especially if the evidence is of the nature that it should be there!
It is when there should be evidence - Stenger addresses this very well in God- The Failed Hypothesis

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