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Global Warming and Theology

I'm a member of a facebook group devoted to the discussion of global warming. It was probably a mistake to join, since the discussion is quite jejune.

Here is an example. A poster writes:  "Prove that God is not responsible for global warming."


Assume theism [of some fairly traditional peoples-of-the-book sort] for the sake of discussion here.

Now abstract a bit and consider ANY statement of the form "why is X happening?" where X  is some observable event in time and space. Either you believe that "God so decreed" is an adequate answer or you don't.

If you do believe that to be an adequate answer, then you have rejected empirical science altogether, because science is all about assigning observable causes to observable effects.

On the other hand, if you do not believe that to be an adequate answer, and you press on for a better one, then you have accepted the scientific enterprise, and the challenge of the form "Prove that God is not responsible for X" is simply meaningless.


  1. Was the poster making a scientific statement or was he making a normative statement? He might have been saying that, because we cannot prove that God is not responsible for global warming, we should assume that God is responsible for it, and that we humans are not. Therefore, we humans need not change our behavior that scientists falsely claim is causing global warming. Furthermore, we should not attempt to interfere with God's will, but should accept and in fact welcome global warming. The poster's right-wing ideology presumably prevents him from noticing that he should take the same attitude toward all natural disasters.

  2. It wasn't clear which of these readings the poster had in mind. If either. A third possibility, of course, is that the comment was simply a bit of mischief, i.e. trolling.


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