One of the more amusing aspects of the whole God debate to me is the exclusive territory of science. As if certain crowds have a lock on particular disciplines.
When studying the world around us, there are many different facets that can be taken into account. And there are different theories and interpretations of the data. But just because one world view doesn’t line up with your world view does not automatically mean that you have a lock on the interpretation of the data.
Theology is not Religion and not all religions have Theology at their base. In the strictest sense of the term, Atheism is a religion. Atheism is, in fact, a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe. And those beliefs hold that there is no existence of a God.
What is interesting then is that atheism (for the most part) tends to claim ownership of all of the realm of science. The claim is that you cannot mix religion and science (particularly data and facts). But that is the very thing that Atheism then tends to do. To my amazement, it tends to do it to exclusion.
But Atheism, by its very definition has no Theology. How can it? It prescribes that there is no God. And having no Theology, how can it then, evaluate any premises it may form, correctly concerning the existence of God? In reality, it purports to establish fact based upon evidence it cannot support.
I do not need to prove the existence of God in order for him to exist. God either exists or he does not. But that does not mean that I cannot take a preponderance of the evidence and draw some conclusions one way or the other.
To say that I cannot infer the existence of God based upon science is preposterous. My Theology is perfectly capable of forming hypotheses and theories based upon the observable universe around me. And I should be able to determine which model the evidence better supports.
The Atheist may determine that the model better supports their particular world view, but that in no way gives them a lock on Science. Science has neither conclusively proven nor dis-proven the existence of God. Theists simply believe that the preponderance of the evidence more conclusively supports the existence of a God than not.
Typically (not always, but in most cases – at least in my experience), people want to argue Religion and not Theology. But before you can argue Religion, you must first agree upon which Religion you are going to debate. And there are many of them to debate, and not all equal at that. Satanism is a Religion. One might suppose that Satanist at least accept the existence of God since the very concept of Satan comes from God centered religions. Perhaps not though. There may be some Satanist that believe there is no other God other than Satan himself, in which case they still accept the existence of a God (albeit, in my world view, the wrong one).
Atheism is, in and of itself, a religion. And if one is to undertake a religious debate, one must argue the merits of Atheism compared to other world religions. However, if one wants to argue the existence of God, one should argue from a Theological standpoint. Does the evidence better support a model for a God or for no God? In my world view, the evidence is greatly in favor of a God.
Once one has determined in his or her own mind as to the existence of God, then the debate as to who or what that God may (or may not) be can take place. At this point there are many religions that purport to have that answer. I am satisfied with my aligned Religion (Christianity), but even within that there is a myriad of disparate thought. I’ve drawn my own conclusions, and at times I am given to deep contemplation over a perceived belief. But those have never altered my Theology.
At times I wonder why Atheists even want to debate their position. Why would it matter? If there is indeed no God, then where is the derived meaning in Life? Apparently the Founding Fathers of the United States of America could find no other recourse for the inherent basic truths of life other than that of a Creator (God). Their preponderance of the evidence led them to believe that a Creator endowed mankind (Human race) with inalienable rights. If further evidence purports that there is no God, then it fails to establish any rights, liberties, or happiness other than cosmic chaos. Indeed, even Dr. Richard Dawkins has stated that the appearance of Intelligent Design is actually an illusion of whatever naturally occurs in nature. Meaning, that there is no meaning behind it all.
Actually, in my experience, what Atheists really want to debate is not Theology, they have none, since their minds are made up on that point, but rather religions. Atheists want to have a religious debate because their own religion does not prescribe to what other world religions assert as a basis.
But even here, I do not believe it fair to lay exclusive hold to the realm of Science. It is disingenuous to begin with, as if their religion is the only religion that could ever interpret scientific data. But it also shuts down creativity and growth of the human race. Exactly what they claim other religions do.
May I use Science (other Scientific Disciplines) to support my Theology? Of course I may. And if my interpretation of the data is different than yours, it does not mean that a differing world view owns the Science and therefore cannot consider my conclusions. Neither does it mean that my conclusions are wrong or have necessarily been disproven. It simply means that there are multiple interpretations of that data.
So whose Science is it anyway? It is all of our Science. We are all free to explore and discover and derive our own set of conclusions and beliefs as we learn and grow in life. So don’t tell me I cannot mix Religion and Science, because at the point of my Theology I can. Just the same as the Atheists already do. The only difference is I actually encourage them to use Science to explore and to learn the mysteries of Life and the Universe. Because I find that data supports my Theology.