Thursday, November 23, 2006

Doctor of Philosophy

This Monday I went for a drink with my 'old' classmates, I go only once in a blue moon.

For some reasons we touched upon religion as Eric said talks and books by celebrities sell because they have Ph.D. and we don't although we don't agree with their 'theories'.

Philosophy is a hard subject to me and I didn't say much on this as I don't think I'm capable. A while ago I get below story over email, disclaimer I have no means whatsoever to prove the truthfulness of below.

An atheist professor of philosophy speaks to his class on the problem science has with God, The Almighty. He asks one of his new students to stand and.....
Prof: So you believe in God?

Student: Absolutely, sir.
Prof: Is God good?

Student: Sure.
Prof: Is God all-powerful?

Student: Yes.
Prof: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But God didn't. How is this God good then? Hummmm???
(Student is silent.)
Prof: You can't answer, can you? Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?

Student: Yes.
Prof : Is Satan good?

Student: No.
Prof: Where does Satan come from?

Student: From...God...
Prof: That's right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?

Student: Yes.
Prof: Evil is everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything. Correct?

Student: Yes.
Prof: So who created evil?
(Student does not answer.)
Prof: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness?
All these terrible things exist in the world, don't they?

Student: Yes, sir.
Prof: So, who created them?
(Student has no answer.)
Prof: Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son...Have you ever seen God?

Student: No, sir.
Prof: Tell us if you have ever heard your God?

Student: No, sir.
Prof: Have you ever felt your God, tasted your God, and smelled your God? Have you ever had any sensory perception of God for that matter?

Student: No, sir. I'm afraid I haven't.
Prof: Yet you still believe in Him?

Student: Yes.
Prof: According to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your GOD doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?

Student: Nothing. I only have my faith.
Prof: Yes. Faith! And that is the problem science has.

Student: Professor, is there such a thing as heat?
Prof: Yes.

Student : And is there such a thing as cold?
Prof: Yes.

Student: No sir. There isn't.
(The lecture theatre becomes very quiet with this turn of events.)

Student: Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don't have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.
(There is pin-drop silence in the lecture theatre.)

Student: What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?
Prof: Yes. What is night if there isn't darkness?

Student: You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light.... But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn't it? In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness - darker, wouldn't you???
Prof: So what is the point you are making, young man?

Student: Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.
Prof: Flawed? Can you explain how?

Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?
Prof: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.

Student: Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?
(The Professor shakes his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument is going.)

Student: Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavour, are you not teaching your opinion, sir?
Are you not a scientist but a preacher?

(The class is in uproar.)

Student: Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor's brain?
(The class breaks out into laughter.)

Student: Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor's brain, felt it, touched or smelled it? ....No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?
(The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face unfathomable.)
Prof: I guess you'll have to take them on faith, son.

Student: That is it, sir... The link between man & god is FAITH. That is all that keeps things moving & alive.
That young man was ALBERT EINSTEIN.......

What do you think Einstein's answer was about life after death?


  1. I have no idea of that's a true story or not, but it's interesting. I've linked to it from my blog.

  2. The modern western (particularly the scientific) knowledge is very much rely on Logic and reasoning. And behind it is a sense of being explicit: either right or wrong. And if it cannot be demonstrated, it is 'wrong'. To develop further, only the western theories and believes are correct. E.g. western medical physicans look down on Chinese medical theory.

    Such Supreme Dominance is rooted from Logical Thinking and narrowmindedness. We should all be well aware of its limitation and not be blinded.

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  4. The argument this professor advanced that something must be observed by one or more of the five senses in order for its existence to be verified is slightly inaccurate. In fact, much of what any individual 'knows' about the world is not directly observable by the senses.

    Take, for example, the historical belief that the world was flat. This belief was very much based on empirical observations about the world around us. Take a look out your window-- your sense of sight will tell you that the world is flat. However, any reasonable person 'knows' that earth is a sphere. The belief that the world is a sphere is not verifiable by the average person's five senses, yet one can reasonably assume this knowledge to be accurate because it has been observed by certain people (astronauts for example, scientists and researchers who have observed motion of celestial bodies, etc.).

    Most of us have also seen photographs of the earth from space. This is not direct observation-- it is second-hand-- but again, it would be unreasonable to believe that some grand conspiracy has been perpetrated upon us in order to promote a belief in the roundness of the globe.

    It is important not to take the methods of science lightly. Science by its very nature is the most reliable system available for verification of knowledge about the nature of the world, and this is due to the veracity, reliability, and reproducibility of the scientific method.

    Things that are known to science to be true-- earth is a globe, earth revolves about the sun, the universe is far older than the biblical claim if 6,000 years, macro and micro biological evolution has and will continue to occur on this planet-- can be reasonably assumed to be accurate, even though you or I may never have directly observed them with our senses because the methods of science are relentless.

    A scientific 'theory' is not merely a guess. The definition of 'theory' in the realm of science is much stronger. The 'theory' of evolution, for example, is as close as anything in the world of science comes to irrefutable fact. It is simply because science always remains open to new evidence and ideas that nothing is ever said to be 'proven'.

    The so-called 'leap of faith' one must take to believe that the world is round rather than flat is fundamentally different from the leap of faith one must take to believe that a supernatural 'god' exists in any empirical sense independent of our minds.

    To address the Christian in this bit, one would be reasonable to assume that the professor has a brain, though it is not directly observable to the senses. A quick bit of surgery and his brain would become quite verifiable by the senses of his students.

    The Christian in question thinks he has given the professor a taste of his own medicine, so to speak, but in fact this Christian has simply failed to recognize the critical difference in religious faith and reasonable 'faith' in the products of science.