Future Facts: Science, Religion and Philosophy


Many from your time want to know what has happened with the conflict between religion and science. You probably have speculated that as time goes on science will slowly but surely replace religion. This idea of yours was absolutely mistaken. Religionists and scientists decided it was high time to put their differences aside to attack the real enemies: philosophers.

It became obvious as time went on that as scientists wanted to understand more and more about the natural world, philosophers would continue to ask questions like, “But is the simplicity of the world really the way the metaphysics is or is simplicity a way you reinterpret your data to fit your values?”

Not only did philosophers question the nature of the metaphysics but they even turned it into an issue of masculinity vs. femininity. Philosophers would ask if the entire enterprise of science was dominated by masculinist concepts of logic and methods of study. That perhaps more feminist notions should be incorporated into the methods of science.

Philosophers would also annoyingly bring ethical questions into science’s goals and projects. For example, many scientists just wanted to clone without some ethics panel asking if cloning was problematic in a secular morality.

Religionists were also troubled by philosophy quite terribly. Religionists believed that faith was some kind of window into the transcendent. But philosophers just kept asking terrible questions like, what is the nature of the transcendent? Can the transcendent be known? Is it meaningful to talk about the transcendent? Can it only be understood via negativa or must it be positively ascribed intelligible properties? If it exists, how does it exist?

It became obvious that religionists could handle scientists calling them irrationalists and scientists could handle some belief in God or gods just as long as the philosophers would just stop asking so many annoying questions.

Finally, a peaceful coexistence.


So as time went on the scientists accepted that the scientific method was handed down to humans by the gods and that humans had God-given rational faculties to interpret the sensible world around them. Religionists decided to accept basically everything science would throw at them and not take their religious views too seriously. Religionists also had to accept that the purpose gods have given us is our need to use science to better ourselves.

One stumbling block was that religionists and scientists became frustrated at their attempts to figure out how to create an ethical framework. So what they did was they imprisoned all philosophers on a remote island. As part of the condition of remaining alive, the philosophers would no longer ask anyone but themselves questions and they would use most of the effort to come up with an ethical framework that religionists and scientists could use to live in a civil society. And it worked.

As a result, everyone tacitly accepted the scientific method and whatever scientists told them as the truth, that there were gods that created the physical realm and blessed humans with an intellect in an unknowable manner, and everyone accepted the ethical system that philosophers gave them without question. Our society has been the most prosperous as a result. Amazingly scientists and philosophers only question each other secretly within their domain of expertise. The religionists however did not question and merely accept the scientific method and the truth that the gods had handed it down along with all of the truths of science.

Part of the reason we can get along so well is because in my time period no one debates “evolution vs creationism” anymore as we discovered these monoliths that are the cause of humanity. So the bigger debate is on the separation of monolith and state. Sometimes monolith proponents will try to sneak monoliths into the public school curriculum. We usually catch it after students begin brandishing bones while ominous music plays in the background.

Some of you may be wondering how the philosophers are faring in their banishment. On philosopher island they can p=-p themselves all day like little savages without bothering us, so it is pretty sweet for them. On a nearby island we have placed all of the theologians. They weren’t quite as annoying as the philosophers but they also used the word ‘qualia’ which made it difficult to distinguish them properly. On a side note, theologian island is the same island we put our cloned dinosaur clones on. The theologians yell “why god why?!” and visiting philosophers just yell “why?!” See how hard it is to tell them apart? I know what your thinking but we didn’t banish the theodicy scholars. They were just too amusing and we kept them for the public good–though they are spayed and neutered!

It used to be that people were pretty OK with philosophers, but that was before our first engineer president, who issued at least 5 amendments outright banning bothersome, inefficient gadflys who bother him while he’s trying to invent new laws.

Ever since we banished the philosophers, we eliminated all existentialism based wars, all Pyhthagorean plagues and all Cartesian infant deaths. Our society rocketed forward as all the potential philosophers instead went into engineering. We know how to make such amazing technology. Of course we no longer know “why” they work, or what agency they might have. But when you have time machines and spaceships who gives a shit about the why.

One major problem with lack of philosophers though is that we no longer know the ultimate meaning of life. We’d ask the banished philosophers but they have unfortunately gone feral. We also need to know how many angels dance on the head of a pin and how sound waves function without a proximate detection agency within forests.
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Cogito ergo I am right #10: Naturalism, Science, and Religion

By Amateur Philosopher Penny Ham

Hello, you philosophically-minded fuckers out there! I want to talk to you about naturalism today.

Naturalism has something going for it when compared to non-naturalism: predictive power and rightness! Naturalism implicitly assumes there are only natural causes in the world and so sets up the entire possibility of science because science can only give us testable predictions when steered by this implicit assumption. Naturalism is itself unfalsiable but naturalism makes up for this by setting up an entire enterprise that holds that each naturalistic statement, individually, is falsifiable. Man, that just makes naturalism uber-badass!

Thinking in terms of non-naturalistic terms, the proposition “God did it” or “God made it” has no predictive power. It can’t be incorporated into science. Naturalism is the necessary condition of science and not the other way around. You have to think of it this way – if you have a science, that is, an enterprise that bases all of its findings on the empirical realm and makes predictions, then you have naturalism, a belief that everything can be understood in terms of natural efficient causation. It’s that simple!

“God did it” explanations must remain outside of science simply because the essence of science is predictive power and this only implies naturalism and not both naturalism and non-naturalism. Sorry intelligent designerists, your theory is non-naturalistic and so it sucks!

If you guys want “God did it” explanations, just stick with theology. As a matter of fact, theology is where “God did it” explanations should be anyway. Unfortunately in the history of evolution and creation debates, people got all confused and presupposed that science had won the battle over theology and so that meant they could and should modify their faith with science. Religious dolts out there, don’t modify your faith with science! You’ll only undermine your own faith by requiring it to have a burden of scientific testability!

What “God did it” people don’t realize is that by making their faith rest on science, they are severely setting themselves up for total destruction of their own faith or some kind of silly denial or overt form of mental gymnastics (throwing out assumptions that scientists are all liars or that fossils were created by Satan, for instance).

What non-naturalists and religionists should do is think, “maybe science didn’t win against theology since science is just a different interpretation of the world than theology.” Maybe, as Nietzsche said, science is just one interpretation of many. Science is a damn good interpretation but just one out of the many. So maybe theology still has something to it. Theology has its own perspective and science has its own. Nietzsche, the guy who said that God is dead might be the last best hope for religious people. What an interesting concept. Actually, it’s not really that interesting. Boring!

The great thing about science is that it is definitely open to the possibility of implying, if given sufficient reason, a worldview of non-naturalism. It’s just that it never has arrived at a situation where non-naturalism has served the simplicity and the predictive power of science. So currently, science only implies a naturalistic worldview. Although this isn’t necessarily a necessary implication, now is it?

Currently as standing. (The arrows stands for implication.)

Science —> explanation —-> predictive power —-> naturalism

Non-naturalism —> lack of predictive power —> lack of explanation —> pseudo science.

Non-naturalism + naturalism —> lacking in the predictive area —-> barely an explanation —> pretty pseudo scientific.

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