There is a great tendency by people who believe in a “God” when asked to for proof that their particular god exists often answer, ‘I feel it in my heart’ or ‘look around, the universe is so complex that it could not happen by chance’. When you point out that such answers are opinions rather than proof they request that you cannot proof that there is no god. The same thing happens with people who spot an UFO declare that it must be aliens from another planet or time travelers and then demand that you proof that it isn’t so. This kind of reasoning is called a logical fallacy (argumentum ad ignorantiam). The implication of ignorance is not meant to be an insult here, it means merely a lack of knowledge. One is arguing that because the lack of knowledge one can draw a conclusion from that. This is a kind of false dichotomy, which indicates that there perhaps may have been insufficient investigations and there is not enough information to prove the proposition to be true or false and excludes other options. This kind of fallacy happens often when one proposes that there are only two possibilities and it becomes a false ‘true or false’ question. The demand to prove the negative is therefor invalid. In the statement ‘God exists’ one can substitute any other word or sentence such as Santa, Thor, the supernatural, Zeus and so on and then demand proof that they don’t. One cannot draw a conclusion based on lack of knowledge.
The following question was asked by one of our web-visitors.
I cannot find anything that backs up your claim that science is the only way of knowing truth. I ask you, what science has been done to show that this statement is true - that only science can show us the truth?
So far science is the only method with which we can prove hypotheses made from observations. Some times we find that the hypothesis is incorrect so then we find other observations and correct the conclusions and it becomes a theory we then keep finding better ways to observe and adjust the theory until the truth is found, (for example the early hypothesis of the earth rotating about the sun, which is now a fact). No such methodology has been successful to establish any kind of the supernatural, although many have unsuccessfully tried to do that, but the claimed “successes” have not been repeatable and are not accepted by the great majority of the scientist in these fields. That means that the hypothesis that there is a supernatural realm, is just a unproven speculation. If you know any better way to do this kind of investigation I and many others, including scientist, will gladly receive your non-science based method, if you can think of one, that make sense.
CONSCIOUSNESS IS SPIRITUAL?
After reading an interesting article on Neuroscience research, I realized that very educated intelligent people can come to conclusions which are totally unwarranted, simply out of a strong desire to draw conclusions, not because of what they learned through their research but because of their innate human drive to explain everything. An article in the Huffington Post showed an example of such a case.
Titled “Neuroscience’s New Consciousness Theory is Spiritual”. The first part is great as the research confirms what other researches have found that consciousness is a brain function. The researcher then however, starts to speculate that the Integrated Information Theory (ITT) indicates that any large body with integrated information such as the worldwide net or even the universe (God?) could become conscious. Here is what, according to the Huffingpost’s journalist, the reply was to the question “So how do proponents of Integrated Information Theory attempt to explain subjective experience?” Christof Koch's answer: “Consciousness is a fundamental property of the universe. Wherever there is integrated information, there is experience. The theory takes its existence as a given and therefore doesn't have to explain the mechanism behind it. It's just a fact of nature that information has an inner side in addition to its bit-composed outer side”. Now wait a minute: “consciousness is a fundamental property of the universe”, “This theory takes its existence as a given” and “doesn’t have to explain the mechanism behind it”? “AS A GIVEN?” That is NOT a theory in the scientific sense. It is a belief of the researcher. He wants it to be true but nothing in his research warrants that even as a hypothesis. All his research proves is that consciousness is a function of the brain and using Occam’s Razor that would mean if the brain dies, awareness dies and so does “spirituality” (we can observe that by observing Alzheimer sufferers) thus the only logical conclusion would be that for the individual there is no conscious afterlife. No Heaven nor Hell. The rest of his “conclusions” are fantasy or wishful thinking,
Perhaps you are interested in the book (or as a Xmas gift) “Why You Won’t Go to Hell” available at Amazon.com or http://www.friesenpress.com/bookstore/title/119734000024050757