Challenge Response: God Can't Be Scientifically Quantified

My response to this week's challenge:


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This week’s challenge is from an article entitled, “How to Argue that God Does Not Exist.” 

“If something exists, it can be scientifically quantified, which means it can be measured and evaluated relative to its mass, energy, location, capabilities, and other qualities. For example, scientists have quantified millions of items ranging from dark holes in outer space to tiny atomic particles like the recently discovered Higgs Boson. If something can not be scientifically quantified, it cannot exist in the real world.”

I have four responses to this challenge. Here’s the first one: If God does exist; science is incapable of discovering that He exists. Science is a tool for discovering things that exist in the natural universe like protons, neutrons, and electrons. God, by definition, is a super-natural being, existing outside the physical universe. Science is incapable of discovering things outside of the physical world. Science is irrelevant when it comes to discovering God’s existence because science is incapable of measuring the existence of God. 

My second comment is that this challenge presumes that science is the only way that we can come to know something exists. This is a mistake in thought because there are many things that are real, significant, and important that science has no way of proving. For example, love. What is love? Do I love my wife? This is a question that science can’t even begin to address. What is a virtue? What is a vice? Should I kill my neighbor? Is what the Third Reich did in World War II appropriate or immoral? These questions are not addressable by the tools of science. Therefore, presuming science is the only way of knowing things is a mistaken assumption. 

In reality, science is just one tool out of many to determine what actually exists in the real world. In a previous video, I mentioned different epistemological tools that we have to discover whether things exist. Logic, historical inquiry, introspection, and testimony are all tools used to discover whether something exists and what it’s like. Science is one of tool, but it’s not the only tool. Some of the other tools are more efficient, accurate, and quick than science is at discovering the truth. 

A third problem with this challenge is that there is a fatal flaw in the logic of this objection. Here’s the principle that this objection offers: The only things we can know exist are the things that are scientifically quantifiable. Here’s my question: Is that principle scientifically quantifiable? The answer is no. That statement is a philosophical claim, which cannot be addressed scientifically. This is what it means to say that the objection is self-refuting or self-contradictory. This objection can’t even satisfy its own criteria. It’s a nonsensical statement. 

The fourth response I have to this objection is that we have good reasons to think that God exists. Some of them are based on scientific arguments. I’m not saying that determining whether God exists is a scientifically quantifiable endeavor. Rather, some of the evidence we offer in favor of God’s existence relies on scientific data.

For example, the cosmological argument for God’s existence relies upon scientific data pertaining to the fact that the universe has a beginning. It began at a finite time in the past. Some of the other arguments we offer in favor of God’s existence have to do with a fine-tuning of the universe. There are cosmological constants like the nuclear force or the law of gravity that are balanced on a razor’s edge. If they fall a fraction of a percentage in either way, then no life would be possible. These scientific constants that we discover through scientific endeavors can be used in our arguments for God’s existence. 

There is a tremendous amount of information found in DNA. That information doesn’t just come out of nowhere. There must be a mind that infused DNA with information. The point is, there is plenty of evidence that God exists that relies on scientific arguments. 

The title of this objection is, “How to Argue that God Does Not Exist.” This objection should really be an example of “How Not to Argue that God Does Not Exist” because the objection contains a lot of errors. It’s self-refuting with a narrow definition of science and how we come to know things. That’s why this objection does not succeed.

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Alan Shlemon