The net of material knowledge can’t net God
Suppose fishermen fish in an ocean using a net with one-inch holes. On failing to catch any fish smaller than one inch, suppose they declare that such small fish don’t exist.
They mistakenly impose their net’s limitation on the ocean. A similar erroneous superimposition occurs when people try to know God using material systems of knowledge such as modern science. Today’s mainstream science is methodologically naturalistic, meaning that it looks for natural explanations for natural phenomena. In contemporary scientific jargon, “natural” is a synonym for “material.” So, science, by its very method, doesn’t look for non-material explanations – its net has holes too big to catch spiritual reality.
Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (07.12) declares that God exists beyond the three modes of material nature, which comprise all of material existence. Without getting into technicalities, the verse’s essential point is a basic tenet of theism: God is non-material. So, he can’t be known by material systems of knowledge such as modern science.
This background helps debunk the atheistic argument that God doesn’t exist because science hasn’t found any evidence for his existence. The argument conflates the method of knowledge, naturalistic science, with the object of knowledge: reality. By implying that the non-material is non-existent, it superimposes the method’s limitation on the object. Such a mistake may occur because of misinformation or disinformation. Atheists may be misinformed about the valid scope of naturalistic science. Or they may deliberately want to disinform others by misappropriating science’s prestige for their own atheistic belief-system. Either way, they commit a fundamental category mistake.
Significantly, God is non-material, but not unscientific. Why? Because science doesn’t have to be naturalistic. If contemporary science opens itself to explore non-material reality, it will discover that the process of bhakti-yoga comprises spiritual science. This time-tested yoga, when practiced diligently, gives experiential verification of God’s existence.
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