The C of E angling for a Templeton Prize. I’m not sure they’re eligible, but maybe they can manage a grant.
The Church of England’s ruling council has passed a motion calling on Church leaders to emphasise the compatibility of belief in both God and science. The motion urges the Church to fight back in what is the latest move in a battle between atheists and believers. The motion at the general synod in London was proposed by Dr Peter Capon. He believes atheists are forcing the public to choose either belief in God or the logic of science in a bid to push religion out of the public sphere.
Let’s see…atheists aren’t forcing anyone to do anything – but of course theists like to accuse us of that, as one of their many less than honest ways of trying to force us to stfu. And our claims that belief in God is not compatible with a scientific understanding is not necessarily part of any bid to push religion out of the public sphere. And in any case, religion doesn’t necessarily belong in the public sphere, depending on how the public sphere is defined. One reason religion doesn’t belong there is this habit of being less than honest about its critics.
A former lecturer in computer science, Dr Capon said atheists were misleading the public when they claimed science and religion are incompatible. He believed that some popular science and nature programmes also repeated this line too easily, ignoring the fact that many scientists hold spiritual beliefs.
Nope nope nope; the usual mistake; we know ‘many scientists hold spiritual beliefs’; that doesn’t make science and ‘spiritual beliefs’ compatible; that’s a separate question.
Another delegate, Philip Brown of Manchester, said: “Science can only explain how something was created; religion can explain why.”
Nope nope nope; another silly bromide; religion can say stuff about ‘why’ but whether the stuff it says is a genuine explanation or not is another matter, and I have yet to see a religious ‘explanation’ that even looks genuine.
Sadly but not surprisingly, the sidebar labeled ‘analysis’ by a ‘religious affairs producer’ is also full of mistakes.
Dr Peter Capon proposed his motion because he wants the Church to make a stand against well-known atheists, such as Prof Richard Dawkins, who say that science has disproved God’s existence, and therefore it doesn’t make sense to believe in both.
It is wearying to repeat it, but well-known atheists and Dawkins don’t say that science has disproved God’s existence. It would be nice if the critics and resenters of atheists could manage to take that in so that we could stop having to repeat it yet again.
But Dr Capon’s motion was never going to be just about whether religion trumps science, or vice versa. Instead, he was making a plea for faith to be allowed to have its own space apart from science, equal but different…[H]e and many other speakers repeated their belief that some aspects of existence couldn’t be explained by the people in lab coats.
But they can’t be explained by religion either, so that point is not relevant. It’s just about the only one they have left, but it’s not relevant. Religion just is not good at explanation. Give it up.