The futility and emptiness of the atheist world-view. Science cannot explain everything.


An exploration of the most obvious flaws in atheist dogma.

I feel the notion that atheism, like religion, is well founded in the common mind, rhetoric aside. They both have rituals, they each make metaphysical claims. They both have the equivalent of high priests etc. Both atheism and religion seem to contain extremists with the attendant arrogance difficulty. Of course there are some very obvious flaws in both atheism and theistic fundamentalism.

For the fanatical religious person, a holy book is canon for ultimate truth and for the “died in the wool” atheist it’s the philosophy of science as the only relevant criteria for what is considered knowledge. This is why some convinced fanatical atheists have a problem with human free will, and even the existence of consciousness itself in some cases. This is down to the fact that if free will is real, it is another method of action in the cosmos other than the study of cause and effect, otherwise known as science. Obviously this would give convincing evidence that the philosophy of science was not the only grounds for knowledge, and thus its denial is tried by atheists of the far extremist grouping.

One of the issues, getting into rhetoric, is the question of who is an atheist anyway. One of the most common definitions for atheist is one who simply has no belief in a God. Extremist atheists encourage the adoption of this definition because it increases the numbers of their fellows in the world and can include agnostics in their number. What it hasn’t got however is the ability to differentiate different atheist types.

Some people of religion, including the most extreme elements, push another definition; that atheists are those who maintain there is absolutely no God. Agnostics then become those who are undecided or cannot come to a definite view. This has the result of lowering the number of atheists in the world. It’s essential to be cognizant of this almost subconscious use of words for both parties to the debate.

For me it is more sensible and useful to make a distinction between those who insist there is no God, those who are effectively undecided, and those who are convinced there is a God. For this reason I believe there is more justification to use the definition that atheists are those who maintain there is no God, agnostics are those in between who are undecided, and of course theists who preach there definitely is a God. It doesn’t artificially inflate adherents for either of the groupings at the expense of refined definition. It also has the positive of being how most people generally use the words anyway. It also doesn’t back up any philosophical bias.

Another idea that springs into my mind is on the issue of evidence. Atheists will frequently equate fairies, Father Christmas or their fellows, with God, in that they put them on the same choice list. The criteria given for doing this is based on evidence they insist. This is actually the truth of course. When it comes to scientific evidence there is indeed the same amount for God as fairies, i.e. “zero”. However this belies the notion that there can be more than one type of evidence other than only scientific evidence.

To my mind another example of evidence involves people and motive. For instance no one can categorically prove that their spouse loves them. It’s a non-scientific question. Evidence is certainly garnered in order to decide if it’s the case or not for the one in receipt of the love, and one loving, naturally, is aware they love without any evidence at all. As mentioned in my previous comment, this realm of evidence all relates to people and the fact they are beings with agency and consciousness. Something many atheists try to deny based on science of course. A useless effort by my reasoning!

Any reasonable thinking person will concede that this type of evidence is not scientific but is still valid, based on a certain kind of truth, in this instance personhood. Taking into account that personhood and a whole realm of evidence that is based on it witnesses to a deep fundamental truth, that there is more to existence than science alone and also that agency itself is a competitor as it were to science. On this basis, the notion of a God is not unreasonable, as God is defined as having personhood. As personhood is agency and agency can engender an effect apart from the scientific definition of cause and effect without agency, the cosmos could very well have been made by the agency and personhood of a God. The evidence for this would be un- scientific, but sufficient, on the other principal type of evidence we all acknowledge and utilise daily when interacting with and acknowledging people.

With this reasoning it’s not feasible to place fairies on the same playing field as the concept of God. After all science cannot explain science but an agency could conceivably do so and fairies are not thought necessary to create the fine tuning of the natural world. The term freethinkers cannot be applied to atheists who`s basis for all thought and all evidence is the philosophy of science. There are other things outside their philosophy.

Atheists cannot be considered to be freethinkers when their basis for all thought, and all evidence is confined within the philosophy of science.

This quote from the immortal William Shakespeare is one that needs to be memorised by everyone of the atheistical persuasion.

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamt of in your philosophy”.

Some music to compliment my words.

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Comments 42 comments

alexsaez1983 4 years ago

Atheism is not a "philosphy". It is simply the assertion that there is no god. Twist and turn it all you want, but it's incorrect. Nobody claims that science is "omnipotent". There are many things science doesn't know. Tacking God as the answer, however, does nothing to support a religious approach. Can you even prove that your God is real and the other gods throughout history aren't?

JKenny profile image

JKenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

Great hub christopher! Very well written, you deal with a very touchy subject in a very balanced way. It's nice to hear somebody putting a bit of rational thought into the whole 'Is there a God?' debate. Voted up and shared.

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Hi alexsaez1983.

There is none among us who can prove or disprove the existence of God. He is not subject to the limitations of science. Atheism is a philosophy, or at least it contains many philosophies, in that it claims to provide an alternative explanation for the deep subjects that also preoccupy people of religion, like how we got to be here etc.

As regards to the reality or otherwise of the old gods, I would just ask you. Where are they now?

alexsaez1983 4 years ago

I'm not talking about the old gods. I'm talking about Allah, Yahweh and the many other pagan gods of polytheistic religions (i.e. Hinduism). I'm yet to see a Christian prove the veracity of his/her God over other Gods. If you have evidence to that effect, please share it...

And no, atheism is NOT a philosophy. It's an assertion. Your definition of philosophy is so broad here, that it can be applied to anything, like politics. Is being a democrat or republican a philosophy? They're trying to answer and solve the same issues in different ways, the same way atheists and theists supposedly try to explain the same things.

On that note, let's address your comment about how atheists also have leaders on the same level as clergy. Political parties have politicians. Again, according to your view, they too are like religious leaders. Simply having famous spokespeople does not equate to something like a priest. Frankly, I'd sooner worship a doctor who cures me of leprosy through modern medicine, than curing leprosy through the blood of a dead bird (14:2-52)

alexsaez1983 4 years ago

Yes, you can't prove or disprove the existence of God. That's called an unverifiable hypothesis. It's the same way as me saying there's an invisible t-rex in my closet. You can call me crazy, but all I have to say is "I have faith" and there's nothing more that can be done. God (whichever one you worship) is in the mind.

alexsaez1983 4 years ago

I really wish theists would quit misrepresenting atheism to suit their own agenda. Or at least use a dictionary.

whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

I appreciated your hub. The scientific community more and more has been coming over to the side of believers in today's world. There has been seen by a lot of extremely intelligent individuals that there cannot be a creation or formation strictly by chance. There must have been a creator. There are simply way too many "coincidences" and these all add up to an entity that is a benevolent creator of not only mankind, but all of the earth, solar system,and galaxies that spin about seemingly in a state of an organization that could only be with a god formed origin. Are we not blessed that we have been gifted with a brain that gives us permission to doubt our own creator, and to be so self centered that we are above all that seems to be beneath our haughty intellects?

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi, christopher, my opinion of God is really that at the beginning of the belief system, we felt that there was something 'Out There' and started putting names to it, I have no idea what or who God is, but I do believe there is something, I am also addicted to science and that I believe is where we will get the answer to whether there really is a God as such, have you watched Down the Rabbit hole/What the bleep? it's a science film that has done scientific study of Quantum atoms and has proved that on a tiny level atoms react in a way that shows they have 'thought' or some kind of consciousness, its a fascinating film, in fact there are five I think dvds in it, I have only watched one of them so far as I only got it a few weeks ago, but even that blew me away, nell

whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

There have been way too many"coincidences" or events and creations on this earth and in the universe that would have had to have a source, as the Creator. More scientists today are admitting that after so much research, they have come to the conclusion that there is a great deal more than chance events and happenstance, There is too much perfection and complexity in all of life and the universe that we are discovering all of the time.

f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

AKA Winston 4 years ago

(This is because the atheist insists in making science omnipotent)

Your argument is a strawman as the passage above is simply untrue. Every atheist in the world recognizes the limitations of science and the human mind - what they don't do is to pretend there is an invisible ghostly superpower who is superior to man in order to qualm mans' fears and assuage his desire for order and control, an order and control that doesn't exist.

Evan G Rogers profile image

Evan G Rogers 4 years ago from Dublin, Ohio

I know that a) my post here won't change a single mind, nor b) will it solve anything at all, but...

Secularist: Someone who says "I have no idea whether a god exists or not. No one can prove either way because gods are, by definition, beyond reason and evidence".

Theist: a person who claims to know a god exists no matter that it is impossible to know. Generally the argument goes that they've "personally felt the power of a god".

Atheist: a person who claims that no god exists. Generally the argument goes "if it can't be proven either way, then why waste time claiming it exists".

Fun Fact: most theists are also atheists! If you believe in Jesus as a god, then you also DIS-believe that Zeus or Thor, or Woden was a god. Thus, you are atheistic towards those gods, but theistic to your own god.

... once again, I am fully aware that this was a waste of time to type all of this.

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Hi alexsaez1989.

If you google "atheist philosophy" you will find that a large number agree with me including atheists.

If you want evidence as to the authenticity of the Christian God as opposed to these others you mention, I ghive you two words. "Turin Shroud".

If you think that "Richard Dawkins" doesn't behave and be treated like a highpriest by his followers you are living on a different planet from the rest of humanity.

What's with this crack about a "dead bird"? I never mentioned one.

If you can go back far enough in time you will have to admit that something has always existed, otherwise you are faced with the problem of explaining how existence could have sprung from nothing. The "God explanation" makes more sense than anything else.

Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Of course you know I like this a whole lot, Chris.

I literally detest atheism, but of course it is a necessary bit of a mind rebellion useful in coming to other conclusions....sort of lot potty training for the brain.

I really like you idea concerning spouses and love. I'd not thought of that one...which literally disappoints me.

Music - this is a good one. How can we scientifically prove that the music of Mozart is beautiful? We can not prove such a thing - but untold millions or billions all agree that the music of Mozart is beautiful - they are either right or they are insane.....or possibly both, even.


I've got some true extremist on my facebook page...folks who will dream up the most ridiculous of notions in support of theism or atheism. I'm certain the atheist half feel I'm ridiculous too. Probably I'm less evolved and less intelligent than the atheist, or just willfully running from modern science - they figure.

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Hi whonunuwho.

Thanks for the supporting comments. I don't really believe in creationism though, so I am not so sure about the coincidences.

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Hi Nell. I haven't seen that film yet although I have heard of it. I imagine it is very interesting to watch.

Thanks for visiting.

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author


Thanks for visiting. I always try to be balanced when I express a view. That way I can piss off more extremists.

It's all good fun.

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author


Nature, in the form of animals, has not evolved the ability to understand concepts, hence no gods for animals.

Thanks for the links. I will check them out later when I have the time.

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author


Richard Dawkins is on record as saying that Evolution, Physics and Chemistry, can explain the entire universe.

I don't see any evidence there that he understands that science can have limitations. Unless you are saying that "La Dawkins" is not an atheist.

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Thanks Evan G Rogers.

My hub really benefited from your witty comment. It was really needed. Too many people take themselves far too seriously. It is nice to see a little balance.

Why did you delete your extra comment? I'm curious now.

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Hi Wesman.

The faith in your spouse comes from a debate between Richard Dawkins and Professor John Lennox. It's one of the few times that I have seen someone "wipe the floor" with Dawkins.

This is the link.

If you have time, it is worth watching.

alexsaez1983 4 years ago

It wasn't a crack about a dead bird. Look up the passage and you'll know what I'm referring to. It's literally a ritual that, according to your holy book of divine knowledge, claims that you can cleanse yourself and your home of leprosy with the blood of a dead bird.

alexsaez1983 4 years ago

And Christopher, as for your idiotic claim that the Shroud of Turin proves the veracity of Christ, keep in mind that Muslims worship Jesus as well. Not to mention the fact that nobody knows for sure who the person is. Maybe you should pry yourself away from Answers in Genesis for two minutes.

alexsaez1983 4 years ago

I guess I could also argue that carbon dating has indicated the artifact to have been created over 1000 years after Jesus, but you don't believe in all that carbon datin stuff. It doesn't jive with your beliefs, therefore it's incorrect.

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Oh, poor Christopheranton. How little you understand atheism. There is so much much to refute here, I could write a book. Perhaps I should.

But just look at the one thing you said about proving that your spouse loves you.

Love can be proven by the physical actions of a person. I love Bob and I take care of him physically, emotionally and in my actions of kindness. I forgive him when he is wrong. I praise him when he is right. I cook and clean for him. I do everything in my power to make him happy.

God has proven that he hates us with his actions and stern laws. He has destroyed the world because mankind, (his own creation) turned 'bad'. He punishes children. He punishes everyone that does not "worship" him. He is not guiding, he is punishing and cruel. He condemns whole groups of people just for being born. What kind of love is that? All you have to do to be "saved" is to worship a cruel master. That is not love.

As for the definition of atheism, it does not include agnostics. Atheists do not believe in a "God" or "Gods" of any kind including "science" as a god.

The universe is, was and always will be. No amount of belief or disbelief will change it.

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Hi alexsaez.

I looked up that passage. It's from Leviticus. It might have worked then, but it doesn't apply now. None of the laws of the Old Testament do any more. They were superseded by Christ.

Muslims do not worship Jesus. They regard him as a prophet only. That is their mistake. Nothing to do with me. What has that to do with the shroud anyway?

Regarding the shroud, the sample that was used for the carbon dating was taken from the side. This was part that had been repaired at a later date. The carbon dating was fine.

Don't take my word for it. Professor Ray Rogers who was a skeptic like you checked samples of the shroud that were in his possession and was able to prove that

This is the link to his peer reviewed paper on the subject, if you want to look it up for yourself.

I really can't imagine why you think I would doubt carbon dating. I can be a theist and have a belief in science. The two positions are not mutually exclusive.

Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Is it me, Chris, or do you have an angry atheist struggling with the fact he doesn't believe in his atheism here?

This fellows arguments don't add up at all.

1. what is he going on about with carbon testing? He seems to the Genesis is taken literally by everyone - not the case at all. My opinion, of course, is that it is allegory - Moses was perfect in his books - he created the scenario that children and wiser adults could all understand on their own level properly.

2. What the heck does Muslims have to do with Jesus - what a diversion this fellow comes up with - there is no logic at all in his arguments that I can see.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Was my comment not approved or not recognized by HP?

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Hi Austinstar.

I don’t doubt the love that exists between you and Bob and I hope it lasts a very long time. But neither of you can actually prove that the other one loves. Both of you can provide strong evidence to indicate that the other loves, but neither of you can actually prove it. The best either of you can do is to have faith, based on the evidence, that the other one is a loving partner. If either of you were a deceitful psychopath, that person could acting the part of a loving partner in order to fool the other one. You can have faith that Bob loves you. You can’t prove it.

How can God prove anything if He does not exist? It appears from what you say that you reject the person of God, not that you don’t credit his existence.

You say that the universe has always existed. How can something inanimate have always been? It makes a lot more sense to believe that there was always an intelligent being who could at some stage put in motion the evolution of the cosmos.

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

I think you hit the nail right on the head with what you said regarding our waspish friend.

To paraphrase Shakespeare.

"Methinks the "atheist" protests too much".

Ah well! He keeps the pot boiling and that suits me.

I love a good row. It's good for traffic.

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

You believe that at one time the universe was inanimate? That some God had to put it in motion?

Yes, the universe has always been here and it has always been animate. I really don't know how people can believe that "God" has always existed, but not the universe itself. That is so weird to me. As usual, it begs the question of where did God come from?

Love can be proven through physical acts, words and their meanings. You are stating that love cannot be proven, that it is only faith. In that case, I have faith that Bob loves me BECAUSE of his actions and words. I do not have FAITH that some invisible fairy in the sky loves me because there is ZERO proof of that love.

Loving Bob is not futile, loving your idea of God is futile and empty and imaginary.

All you have to do to get an atheist to believe in God is to show some little bit of physical proof - via actions and results and the atheist will study it and give it validity.

Atheists are constantly showing proof that God does not exist and yet religionists want to continue to wander down the fake path of faith. You think WE protest! Not even close. The universe proves itself over and over.

We can't show you God because he doesn't exist. You can't show us God because he doesn't exist. No one can show God's face. There isn't one.

Find your proof and then I'll believe in God.

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author


Don't you see that the fact you believe in an eternal living universe is very strong evidence for saying that you believe in God? You just reject the personality of the Divine. Even that position is illogical. If something is living, should it not have a personality? Even the lowliest insect has that. Unless you are saying that the universe is a giant plant?

Nobody can prove the existence of God. But there is strong evidence for His reality.

Nobody can prove that He does not exist either. If you can, then you will be the first one ever to do so.

If you want evidence, I would suggest that you read the article that I linked to in my reply to alexsaez1989 above. If you are really open minded,(which I'm sure you are), you might get something from it.

Seraphim23 profile image

Seraphim23 4 years ago from London, Paddington, United Kingdom.

Hi Chris! What an excellent and well written hub. It occurred to me that the entire justice and court room system also relies, as its foundation, on the type of non scientific evidence you detailed.

Also of course on the secondary scientific evidence as well. However that would be without foundation were it not for things like motive, desire, premeditation ect. All the science in the world always boils down to, in such a system as justice, to the human mind and free will. In effect the reason for the crime, with its associated trail of evidence that science details. Even the very notion of justice is a non scientific concept. Does that mean its not "true" or based on a truthful foundation! So I think your right.

Certainly this amounts to a powerful case to a kind of evidence that is not scientific, yet based on truth. Which in turn forms part of the reasons I believe in a God

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author


You sum up what I was trying to say perfectly. Thanks for your good comments. They are much appreciated.

Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 4 years ago

Your argument regarding free will is interesting. If we have the capacity to choose, then our behavior is not simply a product of cause and effect, so where does our ability to choose come from? The problem is that I have no way of knowing if I truly have the capacity to choose or if my thoughts and behavior are merely the product of experiences and of my brain's biological makeup. So I guess that I'm stuck making a leap of faith regarding my brain's capacity to choose. It seems that I can choose, so I guess that I will try to make the most of this capacity, even if it is an illusion.

In the end, it is difficult to prove much of anything. This is why I put myself into the agnostic category. For even if there is some sort of a God/lifeforce/ whatever, I don't know how to determine who or what this being(s) might be. And from what I can tell, this being has apparently not chosen to make things particularly clear. So I will just muddle along and act on the basis of what seems to be true, including my capacity to choose, the existence of right and wrong, and my family's love for me.

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Thanks Freeway Flyer for reading and commenting. We could all be living in a "Matrix" like situation where our actions are controlled anyway and we only think we have free will. I don't think we really are. But it is possible.

Ultimately we do have to make a leap of faith to reach our conclusions, whether we are athiest or theist. I just feel that the thiests have more of the evidence on their side.

Seraphim23 profile image

Seraphim23 4 years ago from London, Paddington, United Kingdom.

Fascinating comments. I believe that even in science certain base assumptions are made. I.e The universe exists and that we can know something about how it works ect. These foundation premisses cannot be proven but are assumed to be true, so that science can be done.

I'm not sure the same can really be said to apply for our own knowledge that we ourselves, inside, are real. The fact I experience anything at all, whether real or an illusion seems to indicate I at least am real. One can't trick or fool with an illusion one who isn't experiencing something. So proof I am an agent who therefore experiences something is not required. Or to put it another way, I know I am real and the proof is the experience itself.

So even if reality is the matrix, it cannot indicate that my experience of a false reality is itself false. Experience is real because I am, even if the holographic environment isn't. Something still has to be having the experience.

Also I believe, because I know I am real, as opposed to having faith I am real, that for me to be real must mean other things are real also, because experience cannot exist without something to experience because one cannot experience nothing. If a false reality then a real projector of that false reality! If a real reality, then a real reality!

I think there is a fundamental difference between the subjective self and the objective world. Experience is where the two world meet even this meeting place is only known to be true subjectively.

Given all this I think your foundation for believing in God based on your hub is intact Chris


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Thanks for all your supportive and wise comments Seraphim 23.

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

While it is quite true that science cannot explain everything, they do strive to do so by questioning all that is.

Theists simply say that "God made it that way" or the ever popular, "Man can never understand God's plan for us."

I am of the opinion that we think, therefore we are. So yes, we do have free will, but all paths lead to the same conclusion. We will cease to exist as a unique individual and one day will return to the substance of the universe. Some call it God.

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

"Theists simply say that "God made it that way" or the ever popular, "Man can never understand God's plan for us.""

I would never say that and I am a theist. Only creationists would come out with such drivel.

If science can't really explain everything the door is open to the notion of supernatural and that logically leads to the belief in the existence of God.

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Christopher, those are the statements I have received from theists when I asked questions of them. Maybe not in those exact words, I have heard variations.

Yes, the door is open to supernatural things, but it does not logically lead to the belief in God. Once upon a time flying through the air was 'supernatural'. We now have many ways to accomplish this feat.

It is impossible to explain everything in the universe - until we do explain something and that leads to more discoveries. Eventually we might even figure it out with physics and math and science.

I don't see much hope for explaining who or what Gods are. It is possible though. Should some evidence show itself or some physical manifestation appear, then perhaps we will be able to explain the concept of a 'creator', 'supreme being', and 'savior of the world'.

Seraphim23 profile image

Seraphim23 4 years ago from London, Paddington, United Kingdom.

I would disagree with that if I may Austinstar although I like your comments. Science doesn't question all that is, only that which can be measured or observed directly or indirectly and Inferences that stem from those. It can describe things as part or as an instance, from a coherent logical framework, but it can't give an assessment to the question of does it have a purpose. For instance, say this was a matrix reality and science within that reality was describing the rules of that matrix universe. In that case science could not comment on the reason for the matrix programmer for creating the matrix. Same is true if God did create the universe. Science simply can't assess the validity of such a question.

Now I do agree that many theists do say `God simply made it that way` and look no further. However there are more intelligent theists out there, who because they have a philosophical, theological and even experiential basis for their belief in God, expect to see law in nature because it came from a law giver and design maker. So such theists don't reject science, evolution or any of sciences other findings and discoveries.

In fact they expect such things. They also realize the rules of a system tell you nothing about what may or may not be outside that system. What might be outside, including the likelihood or not of a God, is arrived at by other evidential means that science cannot and does-not deal with.

One thing a theist can deal with that someone whose sole ideology is science cannot is the deference between the objective and subjective worlds. Instead of reducing a human being to only constituent parts and elements as though that explained the entirety of a human individual, they can leap beyond that limitation and entertain the reality of the inner soul of the self and what might be outside the system of science. Metaphysics in a word. I think this is what Chris was getting at.

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