This statement can be completed in various ways. Because it is … prescientific … mythical … out-of-date … clannish … supernatural … irrational … subjective …
These statements indicate an elite education; they do not indicate truth.
Thinkers, whatever their viewpoints may be, begin the same. What is reality and how is it measured. Firstly, ancient Greeks concluded that reality – the cosmos, the universe – was either infinite or indeterminate in dimension. Secondly, their measuring stick was mathematics. If you disagree with either assumption, then you are prescientific, mythical, out-of-date, clannish, supernatural-ist, irrational or subjective. You are not up-to-date or among the elite.
Note: the ancient Greeks didn’t pleasantly agree on much. Suffice to say that the “victors” are generally agreed to be either Plato or Aristotle.
This historical disarray has forced me to conclude that reasonable discourse does not necessarily begin by debating creation versus evolution, but by peeking at astronomy and mathematics.
From the pages of Plato’s writings, “basic” mathematics flows outward like a calming cloud engulfing the earth – indeed engulfing the whole universe, to all times and places. It is the great ahistorical leveler, allowing unimpeded mathematical travel to “infinity.” It implies mathematical determinism – which is the “one ring that rules them all.” There is no room for super-discontinuities – such as ex nihilo creation.
When you have learned this, you are in elite company. No wonder elitists reject Christianity. However, Christians can contribute some on-the-job training for the elite! We can say to them: A frequent goal of science is to “generalize” a finding so that it can be applied to a broader set of phenomena.
Thus, would you, the elite, agree to the following generalization: When you reject “religion,” are you not saying that you reject subjectivity in any form? … I would think that they would have to agree to this statement.
That being so, you elitists must reject other instances of subjectivity – such as paradigms or theory! You must be an atheorist as well as an atheist!
That will create a firestorm of protest! They will quickly say that paradigm or theory are not truly subjective. Granted that they are not “proven” in the hard sense of the word, but there is “evidence in their favor.” The consensus of learned participants is that “further study” will, indeed, show that these Rational constructions are Science and thus truthful.
To which I reply, is their “evidence in favor” of the Christian creation narrative?
They will vehemently reply, No, Science (of the inaccessible) has proven that wrong!
And I will say, Excuse me, but you are making a circular argument. Our discussion is at the most fundamental level of knowing, which is, is there theory-free observational evidence, rather than theoretical evidence. Therefore, you cannot appeal to “evidence” “generated” in paradigm “science” or to the calming cloud of mathematics. These are conclusions from your rational viewpoint and thus cannot prove that very same assumption! We can only appeal to the “here and now,” not even to saving (some of) the appearances.
“Human-only” observational knowledge cannot measure the universe or wield an infallible physical measuring tool. Our desire for universal knowledge cannot even appeal to “human-independent” knowledge. Humanly, we can only “save the appearances” about the universal. All stand at the edge of the finite playing field and recorded history – the known – wondering if or what lies beyond.