Reason #2: “I only believe in science.”

In today’s climate if you call someone’s beliefs or behavior ‘unscientific,’ you usually do so with an air of superiority, looking down your nose at the poor benighted fool. Science has achieved an epistemic (i.e., relating to the standards, structure, and limits of ‘knowledge’) cachet few, if any, other areas of inquiry have. And is this not deserved? After all, look at what science has given us: men on the moon, TVs and microwavable TV dinners, computers, medical breakthroughs and, who could forget, the light bulb. The above type of achievements inspired Rudolph Bultmann to write,”It is impossible to use electric light and the wireless and to avail ourselves of modern medical and surgical discoveries, and at the same time to believe in the New Testament world of spirits and miracles” (“New Testament and Mythology,” in Kerygma and Myth: A Theological Debate, ed. H. W. Bartsch, trans. R. H. Fuller (New York: Harper & Row, 1961), 5.). Thus, when someone mentions they believe in the resurrection of Jesus a reply in the above vein might be to scoff, “How unscientific of you; where have you been, don’t you realize such a belief is impossible given Energy Star™ lightbulbs?” ‘Unscientific’ here is used as a pejorative. Continue reading