Magi Mike's Blog

Another WordPress blog about politics and religion

“Scientifically we can neither prove nor disprove God or any of his actions.”

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Scientifically, or any other way, we cannot prove anything that is imaginary or simply a thought. Centaurs, vampires, werewolves, philosophers’ stones, elixirs of life, fairies, demons, angels, gods, God—such things can be imagined, but cannot be proved because they are purely imaginary, figments, and so do not exist in reality to leave behind any evidence for them. The absence of evidence for them is evidence! It is evidence against them.

A basis of science, a feature without which it could not work, is skepticism, one does not postulate anything for which there is no evidence. Its opposite is credulity, the inclination to believe anything on the least of evidence or none! Related to skepticism is the principle of Ockham’s Razor, or Parsimony, which says that one postulates only what is necessary and feasible—one does not glibly invent things. Using these principles science has no need to hypothesize God. Nor does it have to disprove God, an entity for which it has no need, any more than it has to disprove centaurs or elixirs of life, etc, or needs them.

An agnostic is deliberately wavering, wavering out of choice and not reason. To claim there is no evidence either way, is simply to say there is no evidence, and so to be scientific and skeptical the postulate of God has to be rejected until convincing evidence forces a reassessment. It is impossible to be simultaneously a scientist and a believer in God, so long as science cannot accommodate credulity. Credulous science becomes religion!

Moreover, if God existed and has the effect on the material world that believers think He has, He is necessarily leaving evidence behind. Science ought to be able to detect it. As Victor Stenger shows, nothing so far suggests anywhere in the universe that we have checked out that requires a God to explain it. Science is highly successful at explaining things without the hypothesis of God. So, if God exists, He is not manifestly changing the world in any discernible way. Worship and prayer are having no effect.

Of course, a purely mental God, a purely imaginary or psychological phenomenon, can effect one. It is a form of autosuggestion. That is probably why people are able to convince themselves that God does answer prayers. It is the Placebo God.

Written by mikemagee

5 May, 2011 at 9:39 pm

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