As a current student in the sciences and a polytheistic heathen, this issue strikes deep into my core. Personally, my ability to rationalize what science offers on the table and my religious beliefs are kept compartmentalized into their respective corners of psyche. Science, as we have been taught, explains how the natural world works. Since the Gods, spirits and anything otherworldly is beyond science, beyond the natural and hence supernatural, science can not and will never prove that the supernatural exists or not. No scientific instrument nor method of observation has been formulated specifically for the supernatural, so for a theist or an atheist say that via science the truth is absolutely known. The truth isn’t absolutely known and anyone who states such is basing it off of faith and not fact. Yes, that includes atheism because to state the unknowable as truth is faith in such a personally accepted truth.
People state that there is a war between science and religion and personally I think that’s absolute hokum drummed up by anti-science or anti-religious zealots out there who haven’t the capacity to have an open mind not a civil discussion on how science can thrive even though one is religious. It’s a false dichotomy to believe because is in the science field they must be an atheist or that if someone is religious that they can’t accept scientific facts. If these assertions were true we would’ve shunned Issac Newton and Francis Collins (former head of the Human Genome Project and current director of the National Health Institute), but fortunately we haven’t shunned these folks and our understanding of the natural world is furthered because of them. The only war is in the minds of vapid folks who can’t grasp that people can accept science and their religious beliefs without either side being compromised. So in essence, keep your beliefs, whether it’s theistic or atheistic, out of science. Period. No personal religious/non-religious beliefs need to be injected into science because science can neither prove nor disprove the existence of the supernatural.
Science doesn’t need to be at war with religion and vice versa. People like Richard Dawkins need to stop with their zealotry and step back and realize they are no better than the fundamentalists who want to throw science out the window because it doesn’t adhere to their Young Earth Creationism (Francis Collins doesn’t adhere to this nonsense, but still is a Christian…interesting).
Ever since I was a child I always had a deep love for anything science. Not a day would go by where you wouldn’t find me with my face stuffed in a science book or magazine. But religion was nothing to me then. I never cared one or another until I got older and started delving into the more esoteric. Despite that I started becoming more religious along the pagan path my understanding and appreciation for science hasn’t wavered. My religious beliefs, no matter what new discovery is made hasn’t killed my religious beliefs either. So the question is how can I accept religion while accepting science in the same breath? For me it’s relatively easy and seeing those who are religious deny science fact is an oddity to me. Why would science destroy your religious convictions? Nothing that I have read has stated as a matter of fact that the Gods don’t exist. Sure, you can read the convincing thesis of Richard Dawkins God Delusion book, but it’s an opinion, not fact much like any other atheist claim of the non-existence of deity. Conversely, theists have no evidence either for their convictions. It’s all faith and opinion that something divine exists or not no matter what atheists like to say.
The evolution issue is silly for Christians to argue against because we do not live in a static planet let alone a static universe meaning it’s all ever changing. So if the Gods, in their all omnipotent glory, created an ever changing world, but didn’t give living creatures the built-in ability to evolve along with their environment than what chances of survival would their creations have in the long run? None. So it only makes sense that evolution exists as a means for living creatures to survive in a world and universe that is constantly changing daily. As the atheist points to evolution as a reason to not believe in deity, I point to it as a reason to believe, but that is just my opinion much like their opinion that evolution disproves deity.
I accept everything science proves and if it happens to garner the advance technology that can disprove deity once and for all with no questioning it than I’ll accept it, but I doubt any such technology will be made. Atheists can make their claims and those who are religious can continue to do as well, but we can’t become closed-minded fools in the process like those evangelical Christians and Richard Dawkins indulge in daily.
It hasn’t begun yet, this war on Christmas, but we can expect it to flare up at any time now. Might be a little delayed, much like the holiday shopping season, due to the placement of Thanksgiving this year. However, I don’t believe for a second that the anti-Christmas grinches out there aren’t gearing up to be offended at the drop of a pin. You can probably expect the billboards put up by the American Atheist group or whomever else wants to be a Holiday Spoiler. I personally see no point in being offended by the simple holiday time salutation of “Merry Christmas” even though I’m not Christian. Why should a wish of merriment on a holy day be grounds for being offended? Simply put, those who get offended are either thin skinned pansies or drama seekers who can’t stand merriment at all. I’m willing to bet, however, that it’s a combination of both.
Christians, I advise that you put up your Nativity scenes with a huge freakin’ spotlight directed on it for night viewing. Also, hang banners saying, “Merry Christmas to ALL!!” in huge, vibrantly colored letters for everyone to take notice of. Don’t be shy and don’t back down! If you back down and capitulate then you are letting the grinches win and that can’t be forgiven. To back down from adversity is an affront to your Savior. Did He back down? I don’t believe so. And plus, don’t be offended by X-Mas. X has its roots in the Greek word for Christ. Back when the Romans converted to Christianity, the symbols XP (Chi Rho an early christogram) were put on their shields. So in reality, foreshortening Christ in Christmas to an X isn’t really eliminating Christ at all. People are just lazy. That’s all.
I can’t quite grasp the general reasoning and logic behind the supposed offense that some get during the holiday season. I think it’s ridiculous and a show of poor character. This is supposed to be a time when we get together with family, thankful that we’ve lasted another year and that a new year and new beginnings are about to begin. We also, unknowingly, celebrate the return of Light and Life by our placement of Christmas lights on the the evergreen tree. Since Christmas takes place around the shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice (Yule), which in turn each consecutive day starts to become longer. So those atheists who simply want to celebrate life should do just that and leave the Christians and other religious folk alone. Haven’t you anything better and rational to do with your time?
So, from now one I’ll keep track of all the anti-Christmas lunacy that is sure to abound in the coming weeks and I’ll blog them with my own snarky commentary.