HIDING BEHIND THE SACRED VEIL: THE FALLACIOUS ‘RELIGION’ OF ATHEISTIC SCIENCE
During the course of my work in the community, I have the honour and pleasure of meeting many fascinating people. Because of the work I do, I often get to go to their homes. Most of these people are senior citizens. They have a depth and breadth of knowledge, wisdom and life experience that I can only dream to achieve one day. Many of these people came to Canada after WWII from Great Britain either as war brides or British citizens who married French-Canadians. We owe them a great debt of gratitude for what they did for the cause of liberty, freedom, and democracy in our era.
They served in the fields of Army Intelligence, flew bombing missions over Nazi Germany, got shot down, and narrowly escaped with their lives by landing their plane, having lost their crew. Others were pioneers in the fields of aviation technology. One man in our community, along with his wife, pioneered some of the most intricate mathematical calculations necessary for calculating a metallic stress phenomenon known as ‘creep’. This is the minute twisting and distortion of the airplane’s metal structure at high speed, which is crucial in determining metal fatigue, thereby allowing the global aviation industry to calculate the servicing and maintenance schedule for commercial airliners, so that nasty things like wings ripping off in mid-flight wouldn’t occur. This person was also a pioneer in formulating theories warning the international scientific community about global warming. He got pooh-poohed and ostracized by his peers and the petroleum industry, which funded much of his research, for speaking the truth.
One thing struck me throughout all of my discussions with these people. All were men and women of science, but not all had faith in God. One is a devout Catholic, while another a fervent Atheist. What is it about the acquisition of scientific knowledge, or knowledge in general, which motivates some to reject the concept of the existence of a Supreme Being, while in other cases, they embrace it?
Pete Townsend, when he was with the Who, wrote a song called ‘Faith in Something Bigger’. In it, the bridge of the song recites the following lyrics, ‘The more we learn, the less we believe to be true. The more we prove, the more remains to be proved…’ It’s as if the massive outpouring of scientific knowledge and technology has led to the shattering of all previously sacred ‘truths’, for the simple reason that they cannot be empirically proven beyond the shadow of a reasonable doubt, therefore they must be false, and therefore rejected out of hand and relegated to the dustbin of historical superstition.
However, there is a fallacious line of reasoning behind this hypothesis. Is it to be held to be true that something, such as God, for example, does not exist, simply because we are not able to see it, feel it, or to prove its existence through empirical measurement? What does that say about our humility? Are we to be so presumptuous and full of hubris that we are to say that we, the great Homo Sapiens, are the highest form of life that has ever evolved in the universe? If that is the case, then the exalted Homo Sapiens have surely, as David Bowie said of his fictitious narcissistic hero Ziggy Stardust, ‘sucked up into his mind, like a leper Messiah’. We henceforth become our own God, and deign to make ourselves masters of the universe in which we dwell, live, breathe and have our being. It is at this fateful juncture in our evolution that, as the Style Council sang, ‘lights go out, walls come tumbling down’: Our civilization inevitably perishes under the weight of our own hubris. We become too smart for our own good. We think we’ve got it all figured out, and can rise above the forces of nature and dominate her. As we all know, anyone who has ever tried to dominate a woman has ultimately paid for it in one way, shape or form, somewhere down the line.
So why is the Leap of Faith so difficult for some to make? Empirically speaking, in philosophy class, we learned that one is supposed to start from the known and actively seek out the unknown so as to know it. Pretty straightforward, right? But then comes into play Pete Townsend’s above-mentioned axiom of ‘The more we prove, the more remains to be proved.’ So are we to assume that because we never come to the conclusion of our quest for knowledge, that it is impossible to conceive of its limits, therefore our pathetic limitation on our ability to conceive of anything beyond our ability to know precludes and nullifies the existence of a superior and probably limitless and omnipotent and omniscient source of all knowledge and power? If that is so, then we are truly doomed as a species, and merit the fullness and fury of the wrath of the Almighty to be executed on our poor, pathetic and ungrateful existence.
For our Lord Jesus Christ said ‘Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe’. The proponents of the Big Bang argue that all originated there and flowed henceforth thereafter. I have no quarrel with the empirical exactitude of the time, place and unfolding of the events surrounding the Big Bang. But, who or what created all of those chemical elements that produced the Big Bang? Who or what caused them to collide and come together, right now, over me, to borrow an expression from the Beatles? There’s an expression that says that it’s crazy to think that the universe originated in a cipher and aimlessly rushes nowhere. It was most certainly created by a master builder, an all seeing, and all knowing life-force which has been, is now, and ever shall be. Scientists now have found chemical markers on atomic particles which prove that each atom in the universe is interlocked with every other atom, in a coherent, cohesive, whole, a web of life which creates and recreates itself, and is part of an inexhaustible wellspring of life and goodness.
Therefore, I can only hope that those that I have met in the community, that I have spoken of in the above lines, will be able to feel the warmth and comforting presence of the God of their understanding. Maybe they never had to endure sufficient hardship, and were therefore not compelled to seek out help from a power greater than themselves. Such things happen. Some people are ‘lucky’ enough to be able to have gotten through this veil of tears by relying on their own self-will, self-knowledge and self-sufficiency. Perhaps in the twighlight of their life they will come to… and therefore come to believe. Their sacrifice in the last great human conflagration of our history proved to us all the indomitable strength of the human spirit and its ability to overcome adversity. However, those who’s human spirit was put to the test in a particularly fateful way, came to believe that it is indeed not God that permits human suffering, but rather Man who chooses instead to selfishly pursue the elusive, ethereal, and often corrupting prizes of temporal power, money, property, and prestige, instead of asking the God of their understanding for knowledge of His will for them and the power to carry it out on a daily basis.
For this they were rewarded with the gift of Faith, and Faith shall abide with the faithful, and the faithful shall forevermore propagate the Faith, regardless of what is learned, what is proved, or what remains to be proved. Amen.