== Love God == Delight in Light ==

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Is "God Exists" a Permissible Hypothesis?

The way science normally works is this:

  1. Something is observed that we would like to explain or understand
  2. We collect as many facts that appear to be relevant as we can, carry out various investigations and come up with one or more "hypotheses" (i.e. statements of possible conclusions on the matter)
  3. We carry out experiments to check if one of our hypotheses is correct (maybe with some adjustments)
Unfortunately, when it comes to investigating how the world or life came into being we are a little limited:
  • We can only look at the facts that remain now (rather than actually looking at the facts as they were then),
  • We are rather limited in what experiments we can carry out (starting up a new universe is a little beyond the capabilities of most labs!), and
  • This tends to be an emotionally charged question, so it is difficult to be completely objective about it.

Now, the question that I have asked myself is this:

Is the existence of God a permissible hypothesis?

In other words, in my aim to understand the origin of the world, is there anything unscientific in at least allowing for the possibility of there being something (that we could call "God") that is beyond what we call "the universe" (if the facts seem to point to that conclusion)?

This is an important question because there are people who would say that I should not even allow for such a conclusion and that to even consider that as one of the options is "unscientific" in some way.

For myself, however, I can't see any reason for excluding this as a possible explanation. I would rather look at the facts and decide for myself whether or not they seem to support this or another conclusion.

In fact, in my opinion, the exact opposite is true: it is a direct violation of the principles of science to exclude a particular conclusion before we even start looking at the evidence. That's not called "science", that's called "prejudice" (making a judgement before considering the facts). Or, to put it another way:

To reject a conclusion before you begin,
is to throw the word "science" into the bin.

So - if we want to be genuine about being "scientific", then we need to allow for any conclusion that is supported by the evidence. Including at least being open to the possibility that God may exist (as well, of course, as being open to the possibility that the universe came into existance by itself as a result of random processes).

If that's you, then you may be interested in the rest of these posts where I talk about some of those evidences. Of course, if you prefer to be prejudiced (which is, I guess, your right), then you probably won't be swayed by the evidence... but you may find the posts interesting anyway :)

Note: This is part of a series of posts about why I believe in God. See my post "You Believe that Stuff???" for more info and links to the other related posts.

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