Austin Farrer

A Science of God?

London, Geoffrey Bles, 1966

"Every science picks out an aspect of things in the world and shows how it goes. Everhthing that lies outside such a field lies outside the scope of that science. And since God is not a part of the world, still less an aspect of it, nothing that is said about God, however turuly, can be a statement beloonging to any science." p 29

Comments on the Laplace incident as follows:
"Since God is not a rule built into the action of forces, nor is he a block of dorce, no sentence about God can play a part in physics or astronomy .. We may forgive Laplace - he was answering an amateur according to his ignorance, not to say a fool according to his folly. Considered as a serious observation, his remark could scarcely have been more misleading. Laplace and his colleagues had not learned to do without theology; they had merely learned to mind their own business." p29, 30

"An endless quest for explanation has been praised as a divine discontent. In fact it is a propensity most characteristic of rudimentary minds. 'Why does that man wear that hat?' 'Because he is a policeman.' 'Why is he a policeman?' 'Because he wanted to be one when he grew up.' 'Why did he want to be one?' 'Because he wanted to earn his living.' Why did he want to earn his living?' 'So as to be able to live - everyone does.' 'Why does everyone want to live?' 'Stop saying 'Why?' darling, and go to sleep.' Yes. Some time we must stop saying 'Why?' because we have reached the fact that is senseless to question; for example it is useless to ask why living things want to live."
[Lennox responds on p186 of God's Undertaker: "Even a child can point out the difficulty with infinite regress." He thinks Farrer hits the nail on the head with the following summary.]
"The issue between the atheist and the believer is not whether it makes sense to question ultimate fact, it is rather the question: what fact is ultimate? The atheist's ultimate fact is the universe; the theist's ultimate fact is God." p33-34.

For though argument does not create conviction, the lack of it destroys belief. What seems to be proved may not be embraced; but what no one shows the ability to defend is quickly abandoned. Rational argument does not create belief, but it maintains a climate in which belief may flourish." (quoted on the Fixed Point site.)

Evidence from nature Is the universe designed?
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