Science and Faith – the Comments

I recently took on some more anti-scientific ideas from TA of Theology Archaelogy. As TA has a tendancy to edit comments (assuming he even lets them through) I am posting them here.

To begin with, I issued a challenge:

TA, I openly challenge your assertions here.

I had included the link to my article, but not unsurprisingly TA took the link out. We don’t want people to see challenges to his rhetoric now do we?

I also asked a question:

You keep referring to science as evil. It’s via science that we have life-saving medicines. Is this evil?

His first responses were as follows:

I am tired of the word assertions as people use it to avoid hearing the truth and I am tired of those people who use the term.

You obviously did not read what I said and it is typical of people who defend science to highlight only one small fraction of what science, especially medical science, does.

is it good to keep people tied to machines financially ruining them and their families?

Onward to my replies:

Except your assertions are exactly that – assertions. You aren’t making fact-based arguments – you are making interpretive assertions. In fact, for all your complaints about interpretation, you are blind to how you are guilty of exactly that. You have a rigid interpretation of the Bible as literal truth, but that’s only one possible interpretation of the Bible.

Your comment does what you also did in the article – it conflates and misleads. The financial implications of treatments vary from country to country and are the result of different political and social policies – this has nothing to do with science developing the means to save lives.

Also, in focusing on the minute (the use of machines to keep people alive) you are guilty of your own accusation – namely of highlighting only one detail. There are many procedures and medicines available to us today that we wouldn’t have if not for the efforts of science.

Also, we wouldn’t have cars, trains, planes, the Internet, refrigerators, advanced farming, or power for our homes without science. But I guess all this is evil too right?

His next responses:

Sorry that is only your subjective opinion which is influenced by the evil you allow to reign in your life.

this is what secular science supporters do, they distort and misrepresent secular science and only paint a partial picture of that research field and what it produces. In other words they lie.

Not only does medical science ruin people financially but it helps doctors violate their Hippocratic oath but extending the suffering of those who are ill, especially those who are terminally ill.

Then to answer his claims, secular science has also produced– pollution, weapons, bullets, missiles, mustard gas and other poisonous gases, pesticides, carbon dioxide, reduced our natural resources, reduced our financial resources by wasting money on theories and processes that do not exist and the list can go on and on and on,

The full picture of secular science is not a pretty one nor a beneficial one as we can add torture techniques to that list as well as plastics which do not erode away quickly. How many fish have been killed or mutilated by the plastic 6 pack containers?

I could go on but i think that is enough evidence for now.

What evil is that? Treat everyone fairly without judgement based upon my religious beliefs? A refusal to impose my beliefs upon others?

I urge you to take a look at your first sentence and consider that it is in fact, you who is distorting science.

In the original post, you adopted examples that have nothing to do with science and tried to use those examples to disprove the scientific method. This demonstrates horrible ignorance of the scientific method. You are also ‘painting a partial picture’ of science (I imagine this means you too are lying, no?). Plus, once AGAIN you conflate science with other fields.

The cost implications of medical treatment have nothing to do with the science behind those treatments. You are using the strawman argument (yet again). The cost (or lack thereof) of medical treatments varies from one country to the next, and is based on a variety of factors, none of which are to do with the actual procedure itself. Trying to mislead with false statements about ‘science ruining lives’ is a deliberate and wilful misrepresentation of what we’re discussing.

Likewise your comment about the Hippocratic oath. You do know what this oath is don’t you? It’s first rule is to do no harm. Letting someone die might be considered the ultimate harm – but obviously letting people suffer in pain is doing harm as well. It’s an ethical dilemma, but it’s NOT a scientific dilemma. This is once again a wilful and misleading statement from you.

Science has not actually produced directly anything of the things you claim science has produced. The manner in which scientific knowledge is used is a different question, but you’re trying (yet again) to confuse the two. Torture techniques… seriously?

Science is neither good nor evil. It is how that knowledge is USED that is key, and you would throw the baby out with the bathwater in your haste to dismiss all the good that knowledge has managed. Millions of people survive illnesses and injuries that just a century earlier would have been fatal. People have heat and light in their properties, we have the means to stay in touch with people who are all the way around the world, developed the means to protect crops and grow more, hardier crops, and generally moved on from the Dark Ages that you would have us live in.

 

 I twice responded to TA with the above and twice he ignored it, declining to even acknowledge my latest rebuttal. It’s his site so he is free to do exactly that, but in my view he does this because he is not equipped to address the points raised.