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Philosophy is Not Science

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Like I mentioned in yesterday’s article, atheists are coming out of the woodwork. For a few days, I’ve been corresponding with “John.” Here’s my latest response:

Dear John,

First year philosophy stuff is right. You know as well as I do that there is no single “philosophy.” One of the best explanations of Philosophy I’ve heard is, “A course where you learn why the previous philosopher was wrong.” I had to chuckle when you claimed that the church had been such an inhibitor of science when today we find the scientific community denouncing well respected and credentialed scientists who doubt the dogma of Global Warming enthusiasts. They are compared to “Holocaust deniers.” Then there was all the hand-wringing after Katrina and how many super storms we were going to get in the following years.

Ultimately, atheists live off of borrowed capital. They pontificate on what they are sure is true and right, and yet can’t account for their own existence except by stating “I exist.” They claim to use reason, and yet given materialistic assumptions about the nature of reality, there is no way to account for it. Show me empirically that reason exists. Don’t retort, well that’s first-year philosophy stuff. You are looking for empirical evidence to prove God’s existence, so give me empirical evidence that reason as an entity exists. You can’t, and yet you believe in it and use it, but you can’t account for it. That’s the point of this entire debate: Accounting for your claims. Spouting off philosophical platitudes is not an argument.

Atheists never explain how an inert beginning to the cosmos became a cosmos with meaning, rational beings, and moral precepts. Where did the encoding of the DNA come from? What is the origin of information? Dawkins claims that the cosmos only “appears” to be designed. That’s like saying that a Corvette only appears to be designed. Evolution is one of the most irrational worldviews around. It only has credibility because there are scientists who have attached their names and reputations to it.

I hope Dawkins’ The God Delusion isn’t the source for your views. (In a subsequent email, John did refer me to The God Delusion as the source of his views on the science of atheism. Of course, there is no science in this book.) Dawkins was handed his hat in a debate that took place between him and a colleague of his at Oxford, scientist and mathematician John Lennox (October 2007). Again, I challenge you to demonstrate what I’ve asked you to demonstrate given naturalistic/materialistic assumptions. I’m not looking for theories and postulates. These are a dime a dozen. I want the hard science behind your claims. I challenge you to demonstrate empirically the following:

Reason as an entity exists.
Morality as an entity exists.
How non-physical information came into being.
How non-physical information organized itself.
The origin and physicality of mathematical formulation
How the modern-day evolution model is not another name for spontaneous generation writ large.

Again, I’m not looking for a philosopher’s theory; I want to see the empirical science behind the claims.

John, like all atheists you are living by faith. But unlike the Christian worldview of faith, your faith cannot account for the world you believe in. Your narrow reading of science tells me that you are not aware that even non-Christians are perplexed by the questions I’ve raised. Loren Eiseley, writing in Darwin’s Century (1958, 1961), has to admit that “the philosophy of experimental science . . . began its discoveries and made use of its method in the faith, not the knowledge, that it was dealing with a rational universe controlled by a Creator who did not act upon whim nor interfere with the forces He had set in operation. . . . It is surely one of the curious paradoxes of history that science, which professionally has little to do with faith, owes its origins to an act of faith that the universe can be rationally interpreted, and that science today is sustained by the assumption” (62).

But you’ll say, “But now we know better.” No we don’t. If you were truly consistent with your atheistic, naturalistic, and materialistic assumptions, you and I could not live together in the world since there would be no justification for the prohibition against killing. Take a look at a short video clip titled “Cruel Logic” and see if you can do better than the professor tied to his chair.

I’ve heard the claim made that the human mind invented God. This is a curious assertion given that it’s the atheist mind that says there is no God. Which is it? Why is it wrong to accept what the mind once thought and now it’s OK to accept what the mind now thinks? Atheism is a worldview driven by faith in a system of thought supposedly generated by a brain that evolved from a pre-biotic soup of chemicals that randomly emits electrical impulses through its gray matter no different from a build-up of electrical energy and dissipated through a lightning strike. But how can a materialist know that an evolved brain can be trusted to know anything authoritatively or claim that certain behaviors are morally right or wrong given purely materialistic assumptions? Former atheist C.S. Lewis puts it this way:

If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our thought processes are mere accidents—the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the materialists’ and astronomers’ as well as for anyone else’s [thought processes]. But if their thoughts—i.e., of Materialism and Astronomy—are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident would be able to give correct account of all the other accidents.[1]

How can our conception of reason be trusted to account for anything given its evolutionary origin and its non-physicality? No atheist who claims atheism is scientific has adequately answered this question. In general, atheists assume certain things to be true because they have to be true. That’s not good enough. Since science is your god, trot him out for all of us to see. We keep hearing all the things “evolution” has done. I would like to see him, her, or it as well. 

C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1970), 52–53.

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