This is a simple argument against the belief that science is the only method for obtaining true knowledge or that science examines religion.
Recently I had some arguments online with people who insisted that “science has proven religion wrong.” I was like, really? How did they manage that?
By “science,” they’re not referring to any experiment or even a well-documented series of experiments about the basic concept of religion. But about a few scientists’ personal opinions on religion are now valued as absolute truth. There’s something very suspicious to me about this kind of conclusion, especially since it is a convenient way to run from any responsibility that any true form of objectivity imposes on someone because most people would not want the “burden” of the commandments and Church precepts.
Objective truth suggests the existence of a universal law embedded in our very being. This leads to the question: who wrote those laws?. So in order to make sense of those things, it is easier and more convenient to discredit those who say “There is a universal law” or “there is God”, by pointing out their personal sins and horrible deeds. Then I wonder, what has that got to do with the truth they preach?
If the Pope says “There is God” and then goes on to womanize and kill, does his own personal sins obscure this fact? What would those people say? Let me share their rhetoric:
“The Pope, like every bishop, preaches God’s existence for their own personal gain.”
I know this imagery is on the extreme side of things, but I am trying to make a point: the point of objective truth is that it exists on its own irrespective of personal experience or behavior. That is the whole point! Your personal suspicion or bad experience at the hands of some priest or bishop does not obscure this fact.
One of the people I argued with could not respond when I told him:
Science and religion do not attempt to answer the same questions, at least not in the same manner. We are spiritual as well as material. Religion views the world from the point of the spirit, and science views the world as only material. That form of the scientific approach is appropriate for its task of making the immediate world better by learning about it. But when it comes to dealing with loss or pain or anything spiritual, people naturally turn to the spiritual. This makes sense too.
Religion does not probe science accurately or successfully, and science does not investigate religion successfully either. So, why use science to replace religion?
So when the guy says, “Only science can provide any legitimate form of knowledge,.” I told him, and this is a common counterargument. Have you conducted any scientific investigation that proves your proposition?
And he fell silent on the particular question and resorted to whataboutism and insults. I pitied him and went further to demonstrate that the method science would attempt to discredit religion would be philosophical, not scientific. This approach, just by a mere attempt, will give the idea of religion credibility, not disprove it, because it would demonstrate that we do not need to test every form of knowledge in a lab to establish legitimacy.
The point is: Science does not oppose religion; some scientists do. And religion does not oppose science, at least not Catholicism. But some religious people do; this has nothing to do with the objective search for truth but more personal biases. And personal biases are not valid scientific methodology, and they do not reflect a genuine religious search for truth either. It is a method employed by anyone who wishes to cover up their own personal ignorance rather than open up to the search for truth.
Not to mention that the Church has always supported scientific inquiries from the beginning.
“Despite its adherents’ pose of rationality, scientism has a serious problem: it is either self-refuting or trivial. Take the first horn of this dilemma. The claim that scientism is true is not itself a scientific claim, not something that can be established using scientific methods. Indeed, that science is even a rational form of inquiry (let alone the only rational form of inquiry) is not something that can be established scientifically”
“Blinded by Science“, by Edward Feser