the gods

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at
Tue May 27 22:43:49 UTC 1997

On Tue, 27 May 1997, Erik Hoogcarspel wrote:


> dear mr. philip
> let's not indulge ourselves to much in arguments ad hominem.
> first of all, i agree with most of what has been said in this thread on the
> issue of 'existence of god(s)'. ontology is not science, it's philosophy. a
> scientific discussion can deal with the question WHAT a god is, not THAT a god
> is. moreover it's useless: quantumphysics will never be able to prove the
> existence of quarks, nor geometry the existence of PI. if anybody wants to
> discuss the existence of god(s), let's begin with finding out what we mean
> with 'existence' and 'god(s)'

It would be nice if the word 'scientific' could be replaced by 'logical'
or 'rational' in the above. For an entity as elusive as god(s), science
can contribute almost nothing to a discussion on *what* a god is, let
alone prove or disprove *that* a god is. In a discussion of agni and
dIrghatamas, contemporary science just has to keep silent. 

> science is as succesfull as it is, because it doesn't need to answere any of
> these questions, this makes it possible that f.i. a swedish lutheran and a

Although most science adheres to a philosophy of logical positivism,
theories like quantum mechanics make scientists worry about what is meant
by 'existence.' But that is besides the point here. 

And, although a scientist myself, I see no need to invest the word
'scientific' with the exalted status that it seems to enjoy among
non-scientists nowadays. Somehow, being scientific is equated with being
certain. Even scientists would disagree with that perception.  


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