Is God’s Existence a Question for Science or Philosophy?

A person, on the Catholic blog site “Strange Notions”, made the following comment:

God's existence is a philosophical question not a scientific one. So who cares? This is like ranting "Archeologists have been digging for years and they never dug up a Higgs Boson."

Several points should be made about these kinds of ideas.

First, theists regularly make claims that God causes miracles, and other phenomena, inside our universe. If God, or any other supernatural agent, has some interaction with our material universe then studying those supposed miracles with science is precisely the correct tool to use. At the very least we may discover some cool new natural phenomenon, and be able to explain it. At worst we’ll continue to investigate and may never find sufficient explanation. Regardless, if God is the cause of anything, science would be a tool to discover that.

Second, if your “sophisticated” theology and ideas about God make it such that it cannot be investigated by science, then I would argue that you have effectively rendered the proposition “God exists” to be something that is pragmatically meaningless. After all, what does it mean to say that God exists when there is absolutely nothing detectable about it? How is this different from saying that intelligent life exists on another planet that is outside of our visible universe, such that they can never interact with us in any way? What exactly is different between a universe where these aliens exist and a universe where they do not, from any pragmatic point of view?

If God exists in any meaningful way then it ought to have some reasonable possibility of having some noticeable effect on the world, so as to affect the decisions I make. Like the alien life that I cannot interact with, an undetectable god is quite indistinguishable from that which doesn’t exist. Making claims about what will happen to me after I’m dead, where (as far as I can tell) I won’t be able to experience anything anyways, are just as useless to me. Until you can demonstrate this supposed afterlife it’s just another claim.

Theists, if you believe that some kind of god exists, but your god is not detectable in any meaningful way, then I have vastly more interesting things to deal with. Believe if you must, but I see no reason to join you. I think I need to go clean my cats litter box. At least I know it exists and what will happen if I don’t.

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