Programme 12 - Round table 3 | Science & Belief
Programme 12 - Round table 3
Students discuss the nature of human freedom, ranging across examples from Derren Brown to selecting new clothes. The question of definition proves problematic. For example, God’s knowledge of what you will choose might be a distinct idea from a controlling God determining your ‘choices’.
Theologically, if God is ‘the writer of our paths’ then why does he write bad paths for some people?
If human free will is seen as another product of time plus chance in evolutionary progress, then does that reinforce the possibility that this ‘freedom’ is just an illusion of the brain/mind?
If freedom is, by an alternative view, a gift of God, then it follows logically that God’s power is restricted by his gift. Giving freedom means giving up control.
The four models of relation between religion and science are discussed. The persistence of each of the four models—conflict, independence, interaction and integration—finds support from some members of the group.
There is a recognition that, for example, Richard Dawkins is a preacher of a ‘religion’ quite as vehement as some of those he opposes. And of the sometimes constricting ways religious people can respond to adventurous scientific discovery.