The Kuyperian Commentary

Politics, Economics, Culture, and Theology with a Biblical Viewpoint

Questions Science Will Never Solve?

by Adam McIntosh

Blogger George Dvorsky for Altering Perspectives has written a piece titled, 8 Great Philosophical Questions That We’ll Never Solve. Dvorsky’s premise is that philosophy goes where “hard science” cannot, therefore some of the most fundamental questions of our existence cannot be answered with absolute certainty. The eight questions listed in the article are: Why is there something rather than nothing? Is our universe real? Do we have free will? Does God exist? Is there life after death? Can you really experience anything objectively? What is the best moral system? And What are numbers?

The Christian faith, of course, has answers to all of these questions to some degree. We may not have exhaustive knowledge of every topic but we do possess a view of reality that is consistent within itself and that serves as a guide for philosophical musings. As for Dvorsky, not so much. On the existence of the universe:

Why is there all this stuff in the universe, and why is it governed by such exquisitely precise laws? And why should anything exist at all? We inhabit a universe with such things as spiral galaxies, the aurora borealis, and SpongeBob Squarepants.”

Well, do we or don’t we? Dvorsky immediately questions the existence of the universe itself: how do we know that what we see around us is the real deal, and not some grand illusion perpetuated by an unseen force?” Once you concede that everything could be an illusion, then any truth claim you make is unintelligible – even the claim that everything is an illusion. What if the illusion is that everything is an illusion?

On the question of God’s existence:

Simply put, we cannot know if God exists or not. Both the atheists and believers are wrong in their proclamations, and the agnostics are right. True agnostics are simply being Cartesian about it, recognizing the epistemological issues involved and the limitations of human inquiry. We do not know enough about the inner workings of the universe to make any sort of grand claim about the nature of reality and whether or not a Prime Mover exists somewhere in the background.”

Dvorsky says that we can’t make any claims about the nature of reality, though at the same time he makes a claim about the nature of reality (i.e. that claims cannot be made about it; that it is unknowable). How’s that work? Are there no “exquisitely precise laws” that govern Dvorsky’s argumentation?

On morality:

…we’ll never truly be able to distinguish between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ actions. Life is far too messy and complicated for there to be anything like a universal morality or an absolutist ethics.”

Does this mean that I should not believe in universal morality? Thoughts and beliefs are ethical just as much as actions. To claim that universal morality does not exist is to claim that your view is “right” and mine is “wrong.” Moral terms are universal and inescapable.

In trying to embrace agnosticism, Dvorsky refutes himself every step of the way. He only leaves us with more questions. How can he be absolutely certain that nothing is absolutely certain? Certainly, science will never have an answer for that.

Adam McIntosh lives with his wife and daughter in Southern Illinois where he is fulfilling a pastoral internship at a local church. You may write to him here.

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