God knows why it exists
Proof of God: Can you prove that God exists?
God has no place in science. Or? A theologian explains whether there is proof of God and how the search for it has changed.
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We believe in science. The fact that a water molecule consists of two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen and that meteorologists predict the weather better than the haymaker on the mountain pasture. There is no longer any room for belief in God. Or?
In the Jung und Gott series we explore the question of how we believe today - and why we talk about it so little. This also includes the question of whether there is God, whether one can prove or refute his existence. Dirk Evers knows the answer. As professor of theology at the University of Halle-Wittenberg and President of the European Society for the Study of Theology and Science, he has been grappling with the question of whether faith and science are compatible for years.
ZEIT Campus ONLINE: Mr. Evers, the anthropologist Robert J. Priest once said: "It is very easy for academics to discredit themselves. All they have to do is say that they are religious." Is the relationship between faith and science really that bad?
Dirk Evers: I wouldn't say bad. Rather, there is a tremendous tension between science and faith. One scientist dissolves it, in that God no longer plays a role in his private life either. For others, these are compatible with each other. An example: the famous physicist Michael Faraday was a very pious person. But every day when he prayed, he closed the door to the laboratory.
ZEIT Campus ONLINE: Why?
Evers: Science, especially natural science, regards reality as if God did not exist. That is a basic methodological assumption. This stems from the fact that it only concentrates on what can be checked experimentally and empirically or modeled mathematically. God is out of there. Anyone who tries to incorporate God or a miracle or any religious context into natural science immediately comes out as someone who does not proceed according to scientific principles.
ZEIT Campus ONLINE: Everything from politics to medicine should be scientifically verifiable today. Where should there still be room for God?
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Evers: From the theological point of view, God is not an object in nature, not a force that can be retained in a natural law. It is the foundation of nature itself. Everything that is researched in the natural sciences has something to do with God. Of course, one cannot nail God in the realm of science. One does not find it in a single place, it eludes scientific access. But one cannot conclude from this that it does not exist.
ZEIT Campus ONLINE: Can you prove the opposite? That God Exists?
Evers: There have been some movements that have tried that, for example with miracles. After describing the laws of nature, they were by definition something supernatural. So whoever could prove it had a reference to God. For example, in the 1870s there was a heated debate in the United States and England about whether supplications were beneficial for people's health. Experiments were suggested to prove this. That is another line argument of designthat has lasted to this day.
Young and God series
We talk about everything except our beliefs. We want to change that. Do you believe in God, Allah, a higher power? Or nobody at all? What does that do to you Tell us your story of faith, doubt, hope, despair and send it to us at [email protected] We publish the best contributions in our new series "Jung und Gott".
ZEIT Campus ONLINE: The argument is that it is extremely unlikely that our world came into being at all. Because for this, a temperature of exactly 10³² Kelvin and a density of 10⁹⁴g / cm³ had to prevail during the Big Bang.
Evers: Yes. The theory is that this cannot be a coincidence. There simply has to be a creator behind it. The counter-argument: If one assumes that there are an infinite number of worlds, like quantum physics, then it is no longer surprising that there is also a life-friendly one. The design idea can also be applied to the world of living beings: life in all its complexity, so the argument goes, cannot simply have arisen mechanically; there must be a life force, a spirit, an inspiration behind it. Many natural scientists held this opinion well into the 20th century. Charles Darwin also valued it - until he turned away from it with his evolutionary thesis.
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