“If any religious person can present non-circular reasoning and scientific evidence to be examined I am sure the scientific community would be more than thrilled to take a look at it.”
Thus goes a typical in-your-face challenge should you enter discussion with one of those atheistic Dawkins disciples. Someone threw it at me not too long ago.
What is demanded is that you put on coke-bottle glasses, pick up chalk, and fill the board with equations proving God’s existence. Why should any of Jehovah’s Witnesses play that game? Make them play ours. After all, the challenge cuts both ways:
If any person of science can demonstrate how our universal urge to war can be allayed, I’m sure Jehovah’s Witnesses would be more than thrilled to take a look at it.
If any person of science can demonstrate how disaster relief can be accomplished promptly and effectively, without greed or profiteering, I’m sure Jehovah’s Witnesses would be more than thrilled to take a look at it.
If any person of science can demonstrate how racism can be eliminated, I’m sure Jehovah’s Witnesses would be more than thrilled to take a look at it.
If any person of science can supply a satisfying answer to why we grow old and die, and why there is evil and suffering, I’m sure Jehovah’s Witnesses would be more than thrilled to take a look at it.
If any person of science can provide a nurturing model for raising the next generation (marriage being of religious origin, don‘t scientists favor the “four year itch“ theory?),I’m sure Jehovah’s Witnesses would be more than thrilled to take a look at it.
And so forth.
Why acquiesce to scientists as the final arbiters of how we are to live? How have they earned that status? And if I’m cruising down the highway at 60mph, I’m not sure why I should be overly concerned about the scientist on the radio telling me that my car doesn’t run. No one is saying to ignore science, of course, but must it be the value that trumps all else? Is all of life to be seen through Mr. Spock’s eyes? And is the only alternativethe obnoxious Dr. McCoy? Or can’t one live the balanced combination embodied in otherwise silly James Kirk?
There is enough common ground between the Bible and science that the two can reasonably coexist as is by “fudging” both sides a little. For example, no one in the JW camp has any beef with “microevolution”…..you know, the animal husbandry, Darwin beaks, feathers and feet type, and that is far-and-away the most well-supported aspect of evolutionary theory. All the thinking behind mutations and what they can accomplish….we have no problem accepting this as the likely mechanism through which such changes within a “kind” (the unspecific Genesis word) come about. Plus, Jehovah’s Witnesses are not among the religionists who insist on creation happening in 24 hour days. “Day” is an unspecific term as used in everyday life and even in the scriptures. We can live with “day” representing a very long time.
There are various other lines of evidence which JWs accept and, along with the foregoing, they are sufficient to convince them of the authority of the Scriptures. Numerous prophesies…some a bit vague, but others quite specific…..scientific facts presented in the Bible that were otherwise unknown at the time, the candor of Bible writers…..who frequently admit, even highlight, their own weaknesses….something most unusual in ancient histories, accuracy of detail…..for example Luke 3:1
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was district ruler of Galilee, but Philip his brother was district ruler of the country of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was district ruler of Abilene, in the days of chief priest Annas and of Caiaphas, God’s declaration came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness.
Do fairy tales or myths ever include such accuracy?
Not to mention that Jehovah’s Witnesses come to feel a genuine love for the Bible’s author. If you love your wife, do you really need some Dawkins scientific atheist coming around telling you that you shouldn’t?
Plus, the opposite of God seems so absurd, as expanded upon...oh, say here.
Does the Bible and science agree on all counts? No. But there is enough overlap and scientists are imperfect enough and revise their positions often enough that I can live with both sides, not feeling either rules out the other.