By Ryan Weber
When Science Challenges Your Faith
Last year, Journey Students did a series called God Science. Our goal in that series was to figure out what went on between God and Science: “vs,” “or,” “and” “hates,” “loves.” What fits? In the series, we touched on many of the apologetic discussions regarding the dichotomy between God and science.
Unsurprisingly, the discussion centered upon two different things: Creation vs. Evolution, and the verifiable and historical proofs for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Those seem to be the biggies when it comes to any apologetic discussion in the realm of science, and PhD’s and theologians have been arguing and debating for centuries about these. The answers are out there, you just need to check your bias (we ALL have a bias… I’ll explain more this weekend) and do a little research. Those discussions are ancient.
The tension that we’ll be discussing is our view of PROGRESS. Should we embrace it? Should we reject it? What is the line between being a progressive and a conservative when it comes to scientific discovery? What progress comes from God and what comes from scientists with an anti-religious bias? This is tension! Because Christians have a reputation for being completely anti-progressive (you’re not… even if you’re an “ultra-conservative”), this narrative is spoken everywhere.
I want to spend the remainder of this preview talking about the greatest tension that science poses to our faith moving forward. And this is in the areas of transhumanism and bioethics. And before you think I’m more of a genius than I actually am, I hadn’t even thought about these things before I sat down with Donnie to prepare for the message I’m preaching on Sunday morning.
Transhumanism = Artificial Intelligence
Bioethics = the ethics of medical and biological research
These two areas are going to be instrumental in shaping our future and if we as Jesus followers don’t engage in the tension that these areas will present, our world could potentially move in a direction that we don’t want it to move.
We need to begin engaging our minds in scientific discussion. And believe me, I hate science just as much as you. I hate it. Can’t stand it. Throw up when I think about it. But we need to begin to learn how to learn. Google is your friend if you use it the right way. Because this world is moving, and we cannot be left behind.
The questions that we must engage in revolve around the inevitable progress of science in these two areas and the position in which we stand as advocates, campaigners, champions… for people. We as Jesus followers stand for people, their intrinsic value, their will, their standing in the eyes of God.
Is it appropriate, then, for artificial intelligence to replace humanity in jobs, displacing them and perhaps any value or purpose? Or will it make everyone’s lives easier? We can just sit on cruise control and let the machines do all the work? What about cloning? If a person was created in a lab, were they created in the image of God? What about micro-whatever’s that scientists can potentially implant to track your movement, track your vitals, or even change your brain chemistry to help you avoid certain overt criminal activity? Progress?
What about an article I read on BBC where scientists are creating life-size, talking, moving sex dolls? (Wish I was joking, but I’m not). Is it adultery when you trade sex with your spouse with sex with an animatronic doll? You’re not hurting anyone. right? You’re not technically sleeping with anyone else, right?
This blog post is littered with questions marks. That’s because these questions are so complex and wide-ranging. It’s also because nobody is having these conversations, which is why we’re starting the conversation this Sunday at Journey! Invite a friend and let’s talk about it!