Monthly Archives: September 2014

True Crime: The Prevelance of Perjury in Science and Theology

Mehran Banaei

To testify in a court of law, the witness is obligated to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. To arrive objectively at the truth, it is essential that all these three components go together hand in hand. One has to first tell the truth, not concocted fabrications. While disclosing the truth, one has to tell the whole truth, not just half of the truth and be selective to bits and pieces of what is desirable and what is not. Often, while much has been said, is there anything, which has been left unsaid? If so, the concealed information once revealed may force completely a different conclusion. In this respect, half of the truth is as effective as half a parachute. Lastly, in the process of telling the truth, the witness ought not to contaminate the truth with added impurities. Only through the employment of such a fact-finding process can a valid judgement be made.

This is how things are in a court of law, but how should things be in the trial of life? What could one testify with certainty in a lifetime of interactions in this universe? Can we ever ascertain if the universe is created by an external Agent, or is the universe the creator itself?

In analyzing popular discourse between atheists and theists from a Judeo-Christian background, it could be noticed that both sides do not follow this basic tribunal requirement. Both sides vigorously engage in only telling the truth. Yet, both sides with the intention to be triumphant in the debate deliberately ignore the two other concomitant requirements, that is the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, as if there is such a thing as half reality. Thus, committing the notorious crime of perjury. Both groups need to be reminded that those who jump with half a parachute are not going to have a safe landing.

What is the truth that both sides constantly broadcast? The truth is the outright flaws in their opponent’s view, hoping by embarrassing their opponent, they would score a point to rest their own case. What is left out to say, is the lack of evidence in their own view presented in form of faith, or presented in the name of science having nothing to do with reality.

For example, Christian apologetics like C.S. Lewis, John Lennox, Richard Swinburne, John Polkinghorne and Alvin Plantinga are a few among many theists who confront the atheist camp with the weapon of scientific truth, the truth about the inescapable implications of fine-tuning. They well demonstrate that the universe must have a cause and the cause of the universe is not within the universe. Yet, they never mention that there are blatant scientific errors in the Bible, the countless inconsistencies and historical blunders in that which is claimed to be a perfect divine revelation. What is further added to the truth is the baseless claim that the cause of the universe is an anthropomorphic Entity. Is there a shred of evidence in this universe to attest to this claim? While there are compelling reasons to believe in the First Cause, there are no compelling reasons to believe that the entire Bible is word by word dictated by the First Cause.

Cosmos

On the other hand, atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens rightly argue that religious teachings have been used by the elite to control the masses. Organized religion discourages free inquiry and stands at odds with scientific facts. What they do not say is that, this dreadful state of affair is utterly contrary to the teachings of Moses, Jesus and Mohammed, neither one had any interest in wealth or power. It is a historical fact that all these three men went head on with the atrocious regime of their time to liberate their community from mental and physical slavery. It is a historical fact that all these three men taught mankind to use reason and expand their knowledge. What Dawkins and Hitchens do not say, is abuses and crimes committed in the name of religion do not disprove the Divine causality. In fact, when a crime is committed, it is irrelevant in what name it is committed, be that in the name of “religion”, “western values”, “self-defense”, etc. What they do go ahead to falsely add is that science has buried the idea of a created universe, and what science discovers about the origin and functioning of the universe would have no implications beyond science.

Cartoon

Such a misleading presentation offered by the two sides often causes confusion among unwary audiences, leading many to agnosticism that the truth cannot be knowable, or it is relative. Thus, one can never be certain about the nature of reality. When it comes to causality, the state of human knowledge is ever inconclusive.

In discovering the truth about the universe and human existence, one has to detach oneself from personal desire and all socio-cultural beliefs without any affinity to or pressure from the external sources. Then tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. If one abides by this simple principle of fact-finding, one can easily arrive at the ultimate reality about the origin of the universe.

The fact is, one may not be able to figure out what is beyond death, or if there is heaven and hell. One cannot know what is the nature of this Entity who caused the universe and how It came to be. But by observing the universe, there are countless assertions that one is indeed able to attest with certainty. The prime evidence of nature is before every man and woman. Nature’s immediacy and simple language are timeless and universal. Our own existence alone testifies to a cause. We know better that nothing can be spontaneously created out of nothing. There is no case in point to falsify this assertion. Everything in the universe is evidently designed and functions based on specific defined laws. From a tiny atom to the most complex celestial system, everything follows a certain order. The idea of a perfectly functioning accidental universe with no beginning or end is impossible and improbable, thus it is irrational to advocate such a position. It is so absurd as well as dishonest to argue that this incredibly complex web of life in the vast space is a result of random chance. One should know better that chance is not a cause. Even chance requires some pre-requisites. The alternative explanations such as materialist explanation are inadequate. The existence of consciousness and free-will refute the materialist position on causality. All exhibits confirm that the universe is somehow created and is pursuing a goal. The creation of the universe is not by accident, but is by intention.

Judging by the ubiquitous effects, the Causer of the universe is evidently infinitely powerful, creative and intelligent. Even most atheists do not dispute these attributes; however, they rather ascribe these attributes to “Mother Nature”, “Natural Selection” or pure chance. From this single assertion one can autonomously extrapolate that the Entity who is intelligent must necessarily be compassionate, merciful and just or He is not intelligent at all. His degree of compassion ought to be proportionate to His power and intelligence. Furthermore, the Causer of the universe must be singular, eternal and there can be nothing like Him.

To say the very least, in the trial of life, one should be able to bear witness that the universe is caused by this Entity for a purpose.

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Filed under Philosophy of Science and Religion