This morning on Good Morning America there was a scientist who wrote a book entitled "The Science of God". This scientist's basic thrust is that he can believe in God and have "faith". His position is based on this faulty premise:
Science cannot tell us why we are here or what our purpose for being here is.
This is an extremely faulty premise and it is pretty shocking that a so called "scientist" would make such a statement. Science, at some point in time will be able to tell us exactly how we got here and the why. It will also tell us our purpose. The problem is that most people will be unwilling to accept the cold answer that science will give us. What answer is that?
It is highly likely that the answer to why we are here will simple be: we are the result of a whole mess of accidents, coincidences and extremely good luck. We happen to be alive and we have no purpose greater than or less than any other living thing on the planet. None whatsoever. We simply are born and die. Our matter is returned to the Earth where it is recycled to sustain future life of various forms. Our "consciouness" which Artificial intelligence will soon show, is the result of very high level brain function. WHen the brain ceases to function that unique energy that we call "consciousness" will simply do like all other energy does, obey the laws of thermodynamics and dissipate as it seeks more stable forms.
It actually makes a whole lot of sense because when one observes how most people treat religion and God, it is clear that there is a serious problem. For example, I was watching Tavis Smiley interview a survivor of the Rwanda genocide. I was feeling quite sympathetic to the woman until she started to tell her story. She says that at one point she was faced with a machete at the hand of a Hutu. She said that she prayed to God to spare her life. She apparently prayed so hard that the Hutu "overcome by the Holy Spirit" decided to walk away. Hmmmm. an interesting story indeed. But I kept asking myself: Why would God or the Holy Duppy(1) spare her life and not the other hundreds that were killed? Are we implying that those who were killed somehow deserved to die by way of Machete? Were the women who had children cut out of them really divinely damned to such a painful death? The unborn child cursed from conception to such a death? a Child that had just come into this world was actually less deserving of life than this chick? And yes, by this time I was thinking of her as "this chick" because it is one thing to be grateful to be alive, but given the sheer evil of the situation I would think that deep reflection on the attitude of self aggrandizement in the form of "God wanted me to live" would be questioned since the Ba-Hutu's who were committing the murders also considered themselves more deserving to live than the Ba-Tutsi's. Indeed this feeling of entitlement, divine or not, played and plays a large part in many conflicts in Africa.
I think it is very problematic for a so called scientist to say outright that science cannot answer why and for what purpose life, specifically humans, are here. Rather he should admit that he is personally and emotionally unsatisfied with the answers so far and is unwilling to accept the possibility that science will debunk his belief and therefore he puts such questions beyond scientific query. Science does not exist to give people comfortable answers. Science exists to find out what is or has been and what may happen in the future regardless of what we may feel about it.
(1): Duppy: Jamaican term for Ghost.