Faith, Religion and Utilitarianism

Faith, Religion and Utilitarianism

 

Those skeptical of religion often say they believe in science because it works.  In this statement, they are making ‘utility’ the standard of truth.  However, when they change the discussion to religion, their standard of truth switches from utilitarian reasoning (what works) to whatever absolute aligns with physical reality.  In other words, it is ok to establish science and other disciplines by pointing to their utilitarian benefits, but it’s not okay to point to religion in the same way.  Still another inconsistency is that it’s okay for science to use allegories and metaphors that point to something that is veiled in reality, but not religion or theology.  Why the difference in standards?  The answer is clear, they have a prior commitment to materialism and atheism.

It does seem to be quite self-evident that religion and faith works for billions of people and recently a number of studies seem to offer evidence that faith, and even religion[1] has some very strong pragmatic and useful benefits[2].  This must raise the question why are atheists so bent on destroying it?  Could it be that they truly believe that atheists are happier than believers and that mankind would be better off without religion?  I don’t think so[3].  Did atheism bring happiness to Russia or has it led to happiness in China?  The evidence seems to be that atheism can work for some individuals, but it destroys societies.  It appears from surveying the societies where atheists are in charge, that the government is totalitarian and oppressive in its nature.

A lot of skeptics will say they do not believe because faith and religion are simply not true[4], but this brings us back to the question of how do you define ‘truth’?  It seems that when they claim that faith is not true, they are in fact saying that it does not align with or reflect reality, which is the imperialist way of defining the word ‘truth’.  However in order to do this you must attempt to analyze faith using the scientific method.  One problem with this, is that the scientific method may tell you how faith works, and even what it does, but it cannot tell you what it is.  If you absolute the scientific method, as many skeptics claim to do, the only way to know anything would be to rule out much of what we call human knowledge.  Of course they only apply this rigorous application of the scientific method to faith and religion, which demonstrates their bias towards religion.

The truth is that atheists assume that their presuppositions are true and have faith (like the believer) that their views are right.  Many atheists still suppose falsely, that science in some fashion supports their claims, but the more knowledgeable atheist knows that science does not sustain their views[5].  The truth of the matter is that science is the study of nature and therefore has nothing to say about a God that has no being and is outside of nature.  This means that science can neither support religion or atheism on the question of God’s existence.

If you’re wondering why men  become atheists, read my paper on “The Making of a Fundamentalist Atheist” on my website; lyleduell.me.

[1] There is a difference between faith in God and religion. Religion tends to emphasize what you do and faith emphasize what you trust in.

[2] “The Happiness Hypothesis, Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom” By Jonathan Haidt.  Ernest Becker in his book “The Denial of Death” makes a strong case for faith as a plus for dealing with life and death.  Though his arguments do not prove the existence of God.  They do demonstrate that faith does not poison everything as the new atheist claim, but rather it is beneficial to many people.

[3] If they believe this then they should be willing to prove it with science, by the use of the scientific method.  Where is there proof that atheism is the best way to the good life?

[4] Some religion does not align with reality nor does it work.  This simply proves that there is such a thing as bad religion.  It does not prove that there is no God.

[5] The US National Academy of Sciences has gone on record with the following statement: ‘Science is a way of knowing about the natural world. It is limited to explaining the natural world through natural causes. Science can say nothing about the supernatural. Whether God exists or not is a question about which science is neutral.” Taken from “Who Made God, Searching For A Theory Of Everything” by  Edgar Andrews.