Sunday, March 23, 2014

Non-Overlapping Magisteria? I think not...

Non-Overlapping Magisteria.

"I have no need of that hypothesis, sir" Pierre-Simon Marquis de Laplace

Philosophical Deism, defined as the belief in one or more mysterious deity(s) - perhaps as a prime mover or the creator of the universe - does not "overlap" with science. It is a proposition that cannot be proved, negated or falsified - even in principle, for now. Theism on the other hand, defined as a direct or personal relationship with one or more deities, directly trespasses on many fields of scientific inquiry. Including physics, biology, psychology etc. So, when a theistic "God" interacts with our fellow primates brains, or our environment, or any part of the natural order, then one should be able to produce empirical evidence to show how this happens.

The theist does not just humbly claim that their Deity exists, an assumption which cannot be tested. The theist must also lump on further assumptions and proclaim that they can know all, or any measure of this god's will, intent or design. One must ask them; how do they know this? - Can they demonstrably prove any mechanism's by which a Deity becomes a theistic Deity. If god interacts with the natural order science can make hypotheses which can then be tested - and either falsified or supported. It seems very difficult to get from Deism to Theism, but theism can at least be tested with the effective tools and methods of science. For better or for worse, science will light the path about the veracity of theism, reaching ever closer approximations to the truth.

This relates to the god of the gaps argument - one can always find an area of scientific ignorance and assert, or rather lazily, insert god as the solution to it, yet history shows empirically that every time a mystery of the cosmos is solved the answer is not God - the real explanation can be explained naturalistically, without the assumption of any Deity, Occams razor slices off the unnecessary.

 - As Laplace said to the Emperor Napoleon, on showing him his Orary (a working model of the solar system). Laplace remarked "I have no need for that hypothesis" in response to Napoleon's question "where God was to be found in the Orary?"

Thanks, Brady.

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