I refer to a letter entitled “The New Atheists,” (The Jakarta Post, July 19) by Paul Kokoski, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Ever since physics was taught in schools and universities, we’ve grown accustomed to “scientific learning and methods”. From the laws of thermodynamics, Einstein’s relativity, to the recently founded string theory, we study science in a manner that requires us to find a problem and then ask how that problem comes about.
Through the years, science has answered a lot of questions: What is the smallest part of matter? Is the earth really flat? How does a black hole form? It’s obvious enough that science will answer a lot more.
But all of those questions virtually only cover two things; the “what”, and the “how”. Why is this? It is because science relies a lot on empiricism. It is empirical. Therefore, it needs only empirical evidence (can be comprehended by our five senses), followed by a conclusion afterwards.
I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing. After all, science has made an enormous amount of breakthroughs using empiricism. But sometimes, science has its own limitations, due to the fact that its “job description” is to “identify” a certain phenomena. That’s why science can’t answer questions starting with “why”.
There are a lot of people who believe that science is the answer to everything. Take for example, Stephen Hawking. Famous for his intelligence and works on theoretical physics, he holds an utter belief in science, to an extent where he said that science will better religion because it works. But from that statement, a question popped into my mind: “Is science alone enough?”
I think it’s beneficial for us not to take something from only one viewpoint, for it enriches our “ammo” when trying to pin down a conclusion. And just like war, the more ammo you have the better. Take western and Chinese medicine for example. There are things in Chinese medicine that doesn’t make any sense to western doctors. But they work. Why don’t we take those on board as ammunition?
That’s why I take religion as my ammo when it comes to proving God’s existence besides science. Although there’s a lot more sources than just that.