Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Failure of Scientism

Science is good, but science isn't everything. Taken to an abnormal and irrational extreme it may be properly labeled "scientism." This is the view that "science is the only paradigm of truth and rationality...Everything outside of science is a matter of mere belief and subjective opinion, of which rational assessment is impossible."(1) In other words, you can't know something unless you can prove it scientifically.

In a 1998 debate, William Lane Craig faced off against Peter Atkins on the question "What is the Evidence For/Against the Existence of God?" During the debate, Peter Atkins made the claim that science can account for everything and is "omnipotent." When questioned by Atkins regarding what science can't account for, Craig lists the following five examples of things that cannot be scientifically proven but that we are all rational to accept:

1. Logical and mathematical truths
2. Metaphysical truths
3. Ethical beliefs about statements of value
4. Aesthetic judgments
5. Science itself

Watch the clip here:

If you enjoyed this short clip, download the entire debate:

Full MP3 audio here.


1. See Love Your God With All Your Mind, J.P. Moreland, pg. 144.

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