Wednesday, September 19, 2012

You Can't Disprove God

This morning, I came across an article on Huffington Post. It was titled Science & God: Will Biology, Astronomy, Physics Rule Out Existence Of Deity? And, the article seems to be answering "yes." The more we learn from science, the less room we leave for God. We used to believe that God created the world; now, we know about the Big Bang. We used to believe that God created all of the animals, including human beings; now, we know about evolution. And so on.

It's hardly a new idea. I've heard it described as "the God of the Gaps. We use God to fill in the gaps of our knowledge. Anything we don't know, we ascribe to God. There are plenty of problems with this approach. The most obvious is reflected in this article: every time we learn something new, we essentially diminish God. We replace God with the Big Bang, et cetera.

There's also some more fundamental logical fallacies here, I think, even if I'm having trouble finding the precise words to explain them. But, there's something rather ad hoc, and maybe overly convenient, about this way of conceiving of God.

But, I'm getting off track. That's not what I really wanted to comment on. What I really wanted to comment on was the incredible fallacy underlying the entire article, and almost every refutation that you'll see about God and religion these days. And that fallacy is that this, or anything close to it, is the only valid way to think about, or believe in, God.

Essentially, all of these pundits who are railing against God and religion —Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, even Bill Maher -- are always (and, as far as I can tell, never explicitly) talking about a Dualist God. A God who is "out there," and "other."

Now, I will admit, that's a very common conception of God. But, there are other ways to conceive of God that are radically different from that. And, it just so happens that that other way is how believe. And, there's no way to disprove God, in this theology. None. Because, there's nothing to prove.

Want to know more? Stop by for Kol Nidrei.

Guess what my sermon is going to be about...

p.s. of course, if you can't make it, join us online. And, please spread the word to anyone you know who needs a place to pray. We're happy to give tickets to anyone who needs (no fee; just a suggested donation), and anyone can catch the Livestream, of course! 

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