Science Vs. God

by

You know that feeling when it seems like God keeps mentioning the same thing to you over and over through different people, readings, events, or whatever, but that one particular message is always popping up in some form or fashion and it suddenly hits you that God is trying to tell you something? That’s the feeling I got yesterday.

It started when a friend of mine wrote a note on Facebook. She was talking about God’s mercy and grace and how God had changed this one man’s life for the better. Well, a friend of hers who is an atheist started saying some mean things to her about the story she told. She could have stood on her own, but I hate to see friends persecuted alone so I wanted to “stand up” with her on the message she was trying to convey.

When I started typing up a response to the atheist, I knew that he would probably respond in the same way that many atheists have towards me in the past: he would probably insult my intelligence, tell me I was a lunatic (just like my friend), and that I was not even worth having a good debate with. Well, he said all of those things and, as a response to a personal testimony I gave of God’s mercy in my life and my grandmother’s life, he also asked me if I wanted to ask him to kill me so that I could be with my Creator since “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). However, even though this is true, Christians have been called by God to be messengers in this world–to be in the world but not of it.

After I read the atheist’s threatening response, I started thinking. I know that I have blogged several times about freedom of speech (or the lack thereof) and about responses that I have received because of my writings or blogs that are similar to those of this particular guy. Admittedly, I was a little overwhelmed with the extent of this guys hatred towards me that would go so far as to threaten my life. But, after a while, God kept bringing some things to mind. What He was trying to show me can best be explained with a story–a story that a friend reminded me of last night. At the risk of having some nasty replies to this story, I am going to go ahead and post it. It goes like this:

There once was a young Christian man who attended a college philosophy class taught by a professor who was an atheist. The professor told the class that he was going to explain the problem science has with Jesus Christ. He asks the Christian to come to the front of the class for a discussion–a demonstration. The professor begins by asking the boy several questions to establish the fact that this boy does in fact believe in God, believes that God is good, believes that God is all-powerful, and that he believes that God can do anything.

The professor then asks, “Are you good or evil?” The boy responds that the Bible says that he is evil. The professor starts getting excited. He comes up with a situation–there is a sick person who needs help–and he asks the boy, “Would you help him?” The boy replies with a “yes” and the professor exclaims, “So you are good!” And, again, the boy says that is not good.

The professor goes on to say that anyone who helped the sick person would be good. He said that most people would try and help if they could, but, he said, God doesn’t help. The professor elaborated, “What if that sick person was a Christian? What if he prayed for God to heal him and God never intervened? Is God still good?”

The Christian answers “yes” but answers “no” to the following question when the professor asks him if Satan is good. The professor asked the young man where Satan came from and he answered, “From God.”

“That’s right. God made Satan. Is there evil in this world?” The professor asked.

“Yes, sir.”

“Who created evil then? If God created everything, then God created evil and since evil exists,according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil. You believe in Jesus, right? Science says that you have five senses to help you identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen, heard, touched, tasted or smelled your Jesus? If not, then science says that your God does not exist. All you have is your ‘faith’. That’s the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only ‘faith’.”

The student during most of this exchange has remained mostly quiet, answering questions but nothing more. But then he asks the classroom, “Has anyone in the class ever seen, heard, touched, tasted, or smelled the professor’s brain?”

The class laughs and replies “no.”

“So, according to the established rules of demonstrative protocol, science says that the professor has no brain. So, we have to take it with faith that the professor DOES in fact have a brain. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey, Professor?”

“Well, if you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, then yes, I do.”

“Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes?”

“No,” the professor replied.

“Since no one has actually SEEN this process of macro-evolution, are you then believing it with faith? Are you then teaching your faith, which is your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?”

The professor was silent.

The student then asks the professor, “Is there such thing as cold?”

“Yes, of course,” the professor replied.

“No, sir, there isn’t. You can have lots of heat, more heat, super heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat, and no heat, but there is no such thing as ‘cold’. We can hit 458 degrees below zero, which is ‘no heat’, but we cannot go any colder than ‘absolute zero’ because objects can only be studied when it has or transmits energy and ‘heat’ is what is used to measure energy. Absolute zero is the total absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Cold is not the opposite of heat. Cold is just a word that we use to describe the absence of heat. Is there such thing as darkness, Professor?”

“Yes, without darkness, we would not have night.”

“No, sir. There is no such thing as darkness. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, piercing light, but if you have no light, if you have an ABSENCE of light, then you have what we call ‘darkness.’ You cannot make darkness darker or night night-er.”

The professor began to wonder what the student was trying to say and so he asked him. The student replied, “Your philosophical premise is flawed so your conclusion is also flawed. You are working with the premise of duality. You say there is life and death and a good God and a bad God. You are explaining God as something finite, something we can measure. Science cannot even explain the process of thought. We know that it uses electricity and magnetism but we have never seen or fully understood these processes. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life; it is the absence of it.

“Now, one last question. Is there evil in the world, Professor?”

“Yes, we see it everyday. There is the daily example of man’s inhumanity towards his fellow man. There is crime, violence, and many other manifestations of evil in the world today.”

“Evil does not exist, Sir. Just like with life and death where death cannot stand alone, evil cannot stand alone either. Evil is not the opposite of good. Evil is the absence of God. Evil is a word just like ‘darkness’ and ‘cold’ that people created to describe the absence of something. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when people do not have the presence of God’s love in their hearts. It’s like the cold that comes with no heat or the darkness that comes with no light. When there is no God, there is what we call ‘evil’.”

El fin.

I do not know if this story is real or what happens after the student made his point about evil. But despite the fact that the story may not have really happened and despite the fact that I got the story from an email, there are some revealing truths in what is said between the professor and student. This story depicts the messages God has kept bringing to my attention the past few days. I hope that no matter what you believe–whether you agree or disagree with this story–that you think about it. May it challenge you in your faith as it has in mine.

4 Responses to “Science Vs. God”

  1. meredith Says:

    Very, very interesting. I think the problem is that the word “evil” is often used instead of “malice.” To me, evil is something that is inherent in a person, and I do not believe anyone is truly evil. I live by Anne Frank’s quote: “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are truly good at heart.” This means that I do not believe Saddam or Hitler were evil people. They were MALICIOUS people, but not evil. There is no true evil, there is only malice, cruelty, and callousness.

    I’m sorry you have had bad experiences with atheists in the past; it certainly sounds like that guy would have jumped down your throat if you’d tried to respond. I am an avowed atheist, and not all of us are so feisty about it…I am pretty much content to live and let live. You believe in God, I don’t, period. I don’t need to tell you you’re wrong or convince you of anything. We just have two different beliefs.

  2. Casey Says:

    Thanks, Meredith🙂

    I am always fascinated by religion–how people’s beliefs are different and why. So, I hope you don’t mind, but you said something interesting that caught my attention and I was wondering if you could explain something that you said. You said that you don’t believe that people are truly evil and that there is no true evil (in the world)…Instead, you said there was only malice, cruelty, and callousness. What I was wondering was what each of these words meant to you? What do these words mean? And, if its ok to ask, if you don’t believe that there is good and evil, do you believe that there is good and bad? I was just wondering.🙂

    Blessings,
    Casey

  3. meredith Says:

    Hi Casey🙂

    Describing things like this is hard because it is tempting to use the word “evil” – it’s a handy word in the English language, but it’s not what I want to use! I will try anyway.

    Malice is something that someone does with the intent of harm. A computer virus can be malicious…they want to wipe out the data on your computer, for example. Malice is like meanness…hurting someone for the sake of hurting them, not because they did anything wrong. I guess I tend to associate malice with being non-sensical. Crazy people are malicious, something is not right in their heads that makes them think it is okay to hurt someone for their own enjoyment.

    Cruelty is similar to malice, I guess I would describe them the same way. Cruelty involves being hurtful to someone, it goes hand-in-hand with malice. It is cruel to hurt an animal that has done nothing to you. I think the difference from malice is that cruelty is done fully consciously, it can be done by someone with all of their faculties about them. But again, it is very similar to malice, I guess they are interchangeable.

    Callousness doesn’t have to involve actually doing something; it can be NOT doing something, too – not helping someone who needs it, because you feel your needs are more important and it would take your time/energy/money to help them. I think I associate callousness with crazy people too, because I think sane people are not usually callous.

    I feel like I’m not describing it very well. I guess my feeling is that “evil” and “bad” are too imprecise. I don’t think people can be ENTIRELY evil…they can do evil things, but I don’t think PEOPLE are evil. It’s an interesting topic to think about, from moral, ethical, and even linguistic perspectives.🙂

  4. Casey Says:

    Yeah, it is interesting. Thank you for describing all that, Meredith; it helps a lot!🙂 I think the most interesting thing is what you said at the end, “I don’t think people can be entirely evil…they can do evil things, but I don’t think people are evil.” That’s a difficult concept to understand, I think, because that can be looked at from so many viewpoints.

    For example, there was a person in my life who hurt me over and over (emotionally, not physically) for years and one day he betrayed me and my family and left us. It hurt badly and I referred to him as a jerk. One day, someone told me to stop calling him a jerk because he was not a jerk–he just did jerky things. I think that is where you are coming from, and it makes sense because, for example, a jerk would have to do jerky things over and over for their whole life to be a jerk, otherwise, they are just a person who does jerky things.

    To some degree this makes sense, but then I think, “but, a good person does good things, not bad–just like a bad person does bad things and not good.” And, “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure” (Jeremiah 17:9), so we are not and cannot be good apart from God’s help.

    Along the same line, because I am a Christian, I believe that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). In other words, we can never be good enough to meet God’s standard of perfection. That is why He sent His Son, Jesus, to help us.

    Also, metaphorically speaking, if we are Believers we “remain in me (Jesus), and I (Jesus) will remain in you (Christians). No branch (person/Christian) can bear fruit (do good) by itself; it must remain in the vine (Jesus). Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me….apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5). So, if a person does not believe in Jesus, then he/she cannot do good.

    Lastly, “dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love….No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives lives in us and His love is made complete in us. We know that we live in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit….If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God….God is love” (1 John 4:7-21). This chapter is pretty clear that only those who know God can love others because God is love and God “lives” in those who believe in Him.

    Yet, I can still see where you are coming from and what a deliberation this all is.🙂 Thanks again for answering my questions! I really appreciate it.

    Blessings,
    Casey

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