An atheist professor of philosophy speaks to his class on the problem science has with God, The Almighty.
He asks one of his new students to stand and.....
Prof: So you believe in God?
Student: Absolutely, sir.
Prof : Is God good?
Prof: Is God all-powerful?
Student : Yes..
Prof: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But God didn't. How is this God good then? Hmm? (Student is silent.)
Prof: You can't answer, can you? Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?
Prof: Is Satan good?
Student : No.
Prof: Where does Satan come from?
Prof: That's right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?
Prof: Evil is everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything.. Correct?
Prof: So who created evil? (Student does not answer.)
Prof: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don't they?
Student: Yes, sir.
Prof: So, who created them? (Student has no answer.)
Prof: Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son...Have you ever seen God?
Student: No, sir.
Prof: Tell us if you have ever heard your God?
Student: No, sir.
Prof: Have you ever felt your God, tasted your God, smelt your God? Have you ever had any sensory perception of God for that matter?
Student: No, sir. I'm afraid I haven't..
Prof: Yet you still believe in Him?
Prof: According to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your GOD doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?
Student: Nothing. I only have my faith.
Prof: Yes. Faith. And that is the problem science has.
Student: Professor, is there such a thing as heat?
Student: And is there such a thing as cold?
Student: No sir. There isn't. (The lecture theatre becomes very quiet with this turn of events.)
Student : Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat..
But we don't have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can'tgo any further after that. There is no such thing as cold . Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat . We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it . (There is pin-drop silence in the lecture theatre..)
Student: What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?
Prof: Yes. What is night if there isn't darkness?
Student : You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright
light, flashing light....But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? In
reality, darkness isn't. If it were you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?
Prof: So what is the point you are making, young man?
Student: Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.
Prof: Flawed? Can you explain how?
Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought.. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one.To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is
not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor.Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?
Prof: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.
Student: Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir? (The Professor shakes his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument is going..)
Student: Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher? (The class is in uproar.)
Student: Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor's brain? (The class breaks out into laughter.)
Student : Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor's brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain,sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir? (The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face unfathomable.)
Prof: I guess you'll have to take them on faith, son.
Student: That is it sir... The link between man & god is FAITH . That is all that keeps things moving & alive.
NB: I believe you have enjoyed the conversation...and if so...you'll probably want your friends/colleagues to enjoy the same...won't you?..... this is a true story, and the
student was none other than..........
.. APJ Abdul Kalam, the former president of India .
A tribute for the 200th birth anniversary of Charles Darwin…
Why science can talk about ‘God’ –
One of the reasons why people argue that science should be absent from discussions about God is because while science concerns itself with the material, God concerns himself with the ‘spiritual’ nonmaterial realm. But there are a number of theories of God (and ‘by God’ – if Bible is to be taken at its face value) that explicitly deal with the material realm. To that extent science has ‘standing’, in the judicial sense.
One prominent theory of the ‘divine’ made with ‘ungodly’ frequency is that God has a direct impact on the material well being of humans. But here’s how the claim falls short –
Given systematic temporal and geographic variance exists in poverty, life-expectancy, etc. and given we have been able to attribute a majority of the ‘causes’ for such to human action, ‘God’ inarguably plays only a peripheral part in the destiny of man, albeit a larger role in destiny of women (mostly through hands of believers). What I mean by that is simple – mortality rates differ by geography (US versus say Africa, or within US – maybe god likes the ‘godless’ NE liberals), and by time (we live longer today than we did 200 years ago). The variance in mortality and life-expectancy also seems to respond to human intervention, variedly defined as discovering new technologies, to committing war. So unless we believe God systematically dislikes Africans, or liked people less 200 years ago -when arguably people were more ‘moral’ on some variables favored by the current fundamentalists – we have little grounds to believe that God is a large force in determining life-expectancy, or mortality.
Let’s assume for the ‘devil’s’ sake that ‘God’ is a confounding variable, which can be seen as true in more than one way – first, given that he is alleged to work in mysterious ways, and second in the statistical sense i.e. God determines both temporal, geographic, racial and other kinds of variance in distribution of poverty, the human action to which it is causally attributed, and life-expectancy. But that version of God conflicts with our theories about human action (say greed) and our theories about God – who allegedly ought not to reward people motivated by such things as greed. But then punishment can come in the ‘after life’- via hell, where an ever larger number of people are being systematically tortured through great expense of energy, and in a manner that will leave the Bush administration officials chagrined. Even if we imagine that theories of after-life action are true, their impact on the material world is limited to the extent people believe in the threat of punishment. To that extent, God is an instrumental identity for achieving some version of morality.
Another challenge to the presence of ‘God’ comes from the probabilistic nature of our causal models. ‘God’ theories ought to be perfect (explain about 100% of variance) while theories of social action can be probabilistic. To ascribe probabilistic thinking and action to God would significantly conflict with theories of God, though one can imagine that he sets the mean, and ‘will’ causes the error term. A starker version of the same would be that God allows free will, and to that degree that he allows for it and the world is shaped by ‘free will’, and God is immaterial to bettering social condition. Another reason to discount challenge to God theory can be the following – we just don’t know the generating mechanism (or life/death) and probabilistic conditioning seems to come from fitting known world models onto data generated by God model – which is by the way synergestic enough with world model (more poverty = earlier death) to be disturbing.
One way to look at the argument presented here is that God may exist, but s/he/it isn’t particularly strong. And if strength/omnipotence is taken to be a fundamental descriptive attitude of the object (God), it is likely that the object doesn’t exist as well. The counterargument to the above would perhaps need to factor in differing conceptions about the object and its power. For example, one may say that s/he/it is doing all it can to reduce evil to its lowest form – and that is indeed the present condition. Perhaps then more minimally – since he is already doing all he can and rest depends on us - we can argue that God isn’t a particularly useful intervention for changing one’s situation in the world.