The scarecrow of “scientism”

A note on Karl Giberson’s Huffington Post piece.

Can one accept the modern scientific view of the world and still hold to anything resembling a traditional belief in God?

My answer to this question is “yes, of course,” for I cannot see my way to clear to embrace either of the two alternatives — a fundamentalist religion prepared to reject science, or a pure scientism that denies the reality of anything beyond what science can discover.

But that isn’t the choice. Really, it’s not. Science can’t discover exactly what it feels like to be you, for example, but you know that that feeling is real. The complexity of personal experience alone is enough to keep you busy and happy for many lifetimes, and it has no need of religion at all. Why think the choice is between a traditional belief in God, fundamentalism, or “scientism”? That’s just a scarecrow.

A lot of people think that is the choice though. Why do they? Have they never talked to any godless poets or musicians or birdwatchers or gardeners or mountaineers?

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