With the rise and success of modern science (and these advances have been beneficial in many ways), some people have unfortunately come to believe that science, and science alone, offers true knowledge of reality. Famous atheist Bertrand Russell put it this way: “Whatever knowledge is attainable, must be attained by scientific methods; and what science cannot discover, mankind cannot know.” Initially, this sounds sophisticated and intelligent. You will hear variations of this slogan all over the place, and it is implied in most documentaries you see on TV. The only problem is that if it is true, we couldn’t know it to be true. Why? Because the state-￼￼￼￼ment itself is not testable by the scientific method and is therefore by its own stan- dard unable to be known! It’s self-refuting. It’s a statement that commits suicide.
Contrary to what you may have been lead to believe, science is not capable of providing comprehensive knowledge of reality. It does great with bacteria, supernovas, genes, and gravity, but it falters when trying to discuss virtue and vice, souls, free will, moral responsibility, success, joy, love, forgiveness, wisdom, salvation, redemption, hope, purpose, meaning, and beauty (just to name a few!). The scientism espoused by Russell, which is hand in hand with naturalism, must be resisted by Christians if we are to engage our world with the good news of the kingdom of God. We don’t need to be bullied into thinking that if we can’t examine something with a microscope or telescope, then we can’t know it. For this is a self-evidently false statement.
Think Christianly with Jonathan Morrow
Labels: Atheism, Knowledge, Science, Truth