It is rare to find scholars attached to a major research university who can write both a brilliant and courageous book.
This book gives a methodical, but devastating blow to the notion that naturalism could ever produce a consistent ethic.
Years ago, I had a conversation with a brilliant Stanford MD/PhD student. He was fascinated with the growing field of artificial intelligence. It was the late 1980s. I asked him how the complexity of human beings could come from inanimate matter. He told me this was a philosophical question and he just did “science.” It was a dodge, but I can’t even say it was a clever dodge because no one can escape thinking philosophically. We human beings are constantly wondering what the “good life” looks like so pondering the big questions (what the best approaches to philosophy are all about) is impossible to avoid. My Stanford interlocutor had confidence in the power of science for less than scientific reasons! He “believed” in science with a religious fervor which bordered on fanaticism.
This budding scientist had a working philosophy of science that matter is responsible for everything, even though that becomes illogical. There are various problems with believing science so called can explain everything. This view is called scientism. Here is a good summary of the problems attached to scientism:
It is self–refuting—one cannot prove the statement itself scientifically. That is, there is no way to use our senses to test whether or not the claim that the senses are our only sources of knowledge is true. Second, there are a number of things we know that are not known through scientific means: the laws of math and logic, our own consciousness and thoughts, the reality of certain moral claims, and, of course, that God is real. Some of these are actually pre-suppositions of science and, as such, science could not even begin without knowledge of them.
HT: Klaus Issler and J.P. Moreland, “Doubter’s Prison,” interview by Marvin Olasky, World, Sept. 20, 2008, 4 (Internet version).
A very encouraging and compelling testimony to God’s faithfulness: