The Scientific Foundations Of Belief In God -- By: D. Gath Whitley
BSac 66:264 (Oct 1909) p. 606
The Scientific Foundations Of Belief In God
La Faillite du Matérialisme. Par Pierre Courbet. 3 vols. Troisième Edition. Paris. 1902.
La Providence Créatrice. Par A. de Lapparent. Troisième Edition. Paris. 1907.
Pour et Contre l’Évolution. Par l’Abbe Leroy. 2 vols. Ouatrième Édition. Paris. 1904.
L’Homme et le Singe. Par le Marquis de Nadaillac. Sixième Edition. Paris. 1907.
Unité de l’Espèce Humaine. Par le Marquis de Nadaillac. Cinquième Édition. Paris. 1905.
Les Silex Taillés et l’Ancienneté de l’Homme. Par A. de, Lapparent. Paris. 1907.
The age is scientific. We are ceaselessly reminded of the progress of science in every direction. Its achievements in the past are mentioned, its victories in the present are dwelt upon, and its conquests in the future are predicted. Science is the very life of civilization, and “scientific progress” has become the watchword of the age. Everything must be tested by science; and theories, notions, and beliefs must submit to undergo from it a cross-examination.
Supernatural religion must, we are told, form no exception, but must submit its claims and evidences to the crucial test of scientific examination. Observation, experiment, and reasoning, all running in the scientific channel, are, so we are confidently informed, the true criteria of the value of religion. The dogmatic utterances of men of science must be accepted with-
BSac 66:264 (Oct 1909) p. 607
out question, and the general consensus of scientific opinion — although somewhat difficult to obtain — must be considered to be infallible.
Now, before accepting these statements, we have two questions to ask: First. What is understood by science? We are invariably referred, in reply, to the wonders of astronomy, geology, biology, chemistry, and physics. But these are all physical sciences, and mental and moral philosophy are always ignored. It must be remembered that those sciences which deal with mind and morals are as much true sciences as those which deal with the heavenly bodies, or with the organic and inorganic phenomena of this earth. In determining therefore the relation of religion and science, mental and moral philosophy must have a voice. Nay, their voices are the most important of all; for they deal with those problems which are, of all, the most important of all questions to man. These problems are: Whence came I? Why am I here? and Whither am I going? The sciences which give answers to these tremendous questions are the most important that man can study.
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