WARNING: This post may be controversial to some, but it’s something I’ve been thinking quite a bit about lately, and the internet’s a free space for the moment. Today is not about how science and religion can work together, that will be another post, today is trying to understand how we got into this argument to begin with. If you read this post as a professing Christian, I’m not trying to call your faith into doubt. If you’re not a Christian (in this case an atheist, agnostic, indifferent, etc.) know that I’m not trying to persuade you either. I’m just trying to take it all in and see what people are saying and why they believe what they do on both sides to get us to the point where we’re so against one another. To whomever is reading this, I hope you know how loved you are! Whether you believe that is through the one we call Lord and Savior or the family/friends that you have around you, I want you to know that everything needs to be rooted in love for any meaningful discourse to happen.
So then, allow me to start with this; what does it mean to be objective? Google defines it in two ways:
Noun: A thing aimed for or sought after; a goal.
Adjective: (of a person or their judgement) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering or representing facts.
The word “objective” is used throughout our culture today in many different ways. We have objectives to meet in business pursuits, objectives in combat, and objective lenses on our telescopes. To us today, an objective is a status or set of conditions that are to be met so as to establish a ‘good state’. A completed objective is considered a success and looking at something through an objective perspective is considered to be viewing it through the purest and least influenced form.
So then, what is objective truth? I’ve been reading “Amazing Truths: How Science and the Bible Agree” and this subject is covered in the first chapter. In short, it puts out there that objective truths are not subject to the will of man, they’re just there. For me, I look at it this way; The Christian (TC) says that the existence of God is an objective truth; whether you acknowledge Him or not, he’s there. The Scientist (TS) says that laws of nature are objective until nature itself proves them otherwise. Gravity pulls things, entropy happens, and water is wet; boom, no god needed. To TS, the idea of “god” is of a capricious greek diety created by humans. Gods were created to be everything we’re not and make us feel better about our bleak and short existence on planet Earth.
To Christianity, we put our faith in God that he’s the objective one. He is all-loving and all-just, the perfect one to arbitrate the universe that He created. To Science, there’s “no need” for a god because the universe will objectively govern itself as we spiral down our entropy fueled path to chaos once more. Now we’re fighting.
The Christian attempts to persuade the scientist because of The Great Commission. The scientist attempts to debunk the christian’s argument through a quest of enlightenment and doesn’t want to see anyone else lose what to them could still be a very fulfilling life lived without always looking over your shoulder for a lightening bolt to strike you down.
Yesterday I saw “Batman vs. Superman” (an interesting parallel to this debate in a way!) and heard the villainous Lex Luthor say this line: “If God is all good, he cannot be all powerful; and if God is all powerful, then he cannot be all good.”
This line in the movie rankled me because it again belies a bedrock level misunderstanding that science has about religion. God is not a paradox. If he were, that would make him one of us and there would be no point in the hope of the resurrection. God is all powerful because he is all knowing, all present, all loving, and all just. He can be everything because he is everything. Everything except evil or fickle because all of that cannot stand before him once evil entered the world. When scientists label God as such, they site the Old Testament passages where God sanctioned the taking of human life or the destruction of nations. They interpret his actions as joyful to him. I once saw an atheist post the question “what’s with all the raping and pillaging god?” as if an all powerful being tortures people for sport. Other people say “why would god let this happen?” and to all of us I say “only he knows.” We believe that one day He will come and set all things right, that’s how he handles justice. We humans just have a hard time of it because our view of the world is the narrowest possible; a view through only one set of eyes.
So, back to my point about being objective. If we’re going to have this discussion about how the world really works and function, through both the lenses of Christianity and science, we need to get our egos out of the way and look for what’s objective. Whether you believe that’s God or not, I believe that the objective things in our universe are so because they were created that way.
I think it’s best summed up from the Christian perspective in a web comic I found (credit to ‘adam4d.com‘). Now, this one actually posits that it’s not really about the concept of truth at all, but it shows the dichotomy of the perspectives well and I think still highlights the need for all of us to get on the same page about some things.
So then dear reader! What do YOU think? Send me a message with a question or leave a comment for a future post and I’ll be happy to do some more research and help us hopefully unravel the conundrum before us!