Re: MD Science vs. Theism: Where's The Beef?

From: Mark Steven Heyman (
Date: Tue May 03 2005 - 18:18:32 BST

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    Hi Sam,

    On 3 May 2005 at 7:08, Sam Norton wrote:

    > msh on and on:
    > So, to me the interesting question has always been, why do
    > theologians so often appear to seek the imprimatur of science?
    > Scott:
    > This is where you and DMB are out of date. Some theologians used to
    > make pseudo-scientific arguments (of the God of the gaps sort), but
    > most have learned not to. There are still many theists around who
    > continue to do so, but the higher quality theology does not.
    > msh:
    > Sam says it's because they have absorbed the ideology of the age.
    > You guys need to get your stories straight. It's like I've nabbed
    > couple of criminals and have them in different interrogation rooms.
    > :O)

    I think this betrays an incorrect assumption on your part. A) neither
    Scott nor I accept transubstantiation; B) as a Christian I see
    Quality in the Eucharist; C) as a non-Christian I imagine Scott does
    not see Quality in the Eucharist (but is probably happy for
    Christians to see it); D) the assumption that we're going to agree on
    everything is therefore illegitimate. Besides which, it's not clear
    that our arguments contradict: surely the fact that we have different
    arguments is a strength for the views we hold in common, not a

    Oops... I thought I was being funny... not philosophical. Sorry.
    All I meant is that you had different responses to my question of why
    theologians seek the the approval of science. I'm really not
    suggesting there's a conspiracy between you two. Really.

    On the specific points, I would suggest that those theologians who
    seek a scientific imprimatur are using an understanding of theology
    which makes verifiable claims (ie scientifically verifiable), which
    is therefore derived from Descartes/SOM. As Scott says, all the
    decent theologians avoid pseudo-scientific arguments (as they also
    avoid SOM).

    msh says:
    Fair enough. Thanks.

    Mark Steven Heyman (msh)

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