Empirical testable demonstrable protocol
This post could also be titled Science and God part 2 as it follows on quite well from my last post. Some time ago I quoted a conversation between an atheist professor of philosophy and a student which can be read here. However it appears this was part of a longer conversation and today I was sent the fuller account. So I am now posting the rest of the conversation, minus the part that has previously appeared on my blog:
‘Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?’
The student’s voice betrays him and cracks. ‘Yes, Professor, I do.’
The old man stops pacing. ‘Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?’
‘No sir. I’ve never seen Him.’
‘Then tell us if you’ve ever heard your Jesus?’
‘No, sir, I have not.’
‘Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?’
‘No, sir, I’m afraid I haven’t.’
‘Yet you still believe in him?’
‘According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?
‘Nothing,’ the student replies. ‘I only have my Faith.’
‘Yes, faith,’ the professor repeats.
And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.’
My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.’
The professor’s face cannot hide his surprise this time. ‘Flawed? Can you explain how?’
‘You are working on the premise of duality,’ the student explains.’You argue that there is life and then there’s death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can’t even explain a thought.’
‘It uses electricity and magnetism , but it has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.’
‘Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?’
‘If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.
‘Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?’
The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going.
‘Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavour, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?’
‘To continue the point, let me give you an example of what I mean.’
The student looks around the room. ‘Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor’s brain?’ The class breaks out into laughter.
‘Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor’s brain, felt the professor’s brain, touched or smelt the professor’s brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir.’
‘So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?’
Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable.
Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. ‘I guess you’ll have to take them on faith.’