Why Philosophical Proofs for God Are Better Than “Scientific” Proofs
by J. Brian Huffling
Let me first say that I think the “scientific” proofs for God’s existence are very good, as far as they go. (I’ll explain why that word is in quotes later.) Since middle school one of my hobbies has been backyard astronomy. I am very familiar with the intelligent design arguments from cosmology and biology. They are all very good and very convincing. So what’s the issue? Well, for one, natural science alone can’t prove God. It needs philosophy.Then what makes the scientific arguments good? They are good because they show that the chances for the design (not existence) of the universe and life due to random events are essentially zero. But the jump from probability to cause is a philosophical one. Science, does after all, require the use of philosophy. As someone once said, philosophy is unavoidable. Science can give us probability, mathematics, and descriptions of how things are. However, by definition natural science studies nature and thus cannot make the move beyond nature to the supernatural. Again, that is a philosophical move.
While science can prove that there probably is a cause that accounts for the design in the universe and among life, it cannot move beyond the cosmos for an answer. Even adopting the philosophical notion of cause and effect, science cannot tell us what the cause is like. It cannot tell us there is only one cause. It also cannot tell us that the universe was created from nothing. The best it can do is to show that a cause, or causes, arranged the unverse and life in such a way to allow it to exist the way it is now.
Objections to Scientific Proofs for God
Maurice Holloway makes a general objection against proving God’s existence from natural science in his Introduction to Natural Theology. He declares…