A space to discuss the essay, “Do you speak science?”
Richard Dawkins states -
I do not believe in anything beyond the material world, no matter how poetic you feel, no matter how much you’re in love, or no matter how deeply you feel emotionally about looking at nature, looking at fields of wheat, looking at the stars. These are all human reactions, which I feel as strongly as anyone. But there is nothing supernatural about that.
The only way anyone can make this statement is if one begins with the assumption of a premise that there is nothing in this world beyond the physical world. Even if we were to be able to discover and explain all the physiochemical and biological processes associated with feelings of love in the future, it would still never prove that is all there is to love. It cannot rule out the possibility of immaterial beings interacting with the material world. If anything, these biological processes may define lust but not love!
Biblical love by definition is about setting aside our own interests for the good of another person - an act that goes against the biological impulse! If love was merely alignment of biology, chemistry and physics of two individuals, we would have no reason to treat everyone with love in the biblical sense. Material love by definition would become conditional love, or love when convenient. The love that limits itself to the physical world that Dawkins describes is not the kind of love that will carry us through the challenges of life or cause us to stay committed to anyone. Our love would fail when our biological processes fail. In other words, it would not be love! There would be no accountability.
If love is just a physical phenomenon, love would not convey any sense of worth to the one being loved. How can we even call the phenomenon love, when a person is reduced to just molecules!
If we are just matter, why does our ego get hurt when we dont get what we want? If we are just matter, why doesn’t a materialistic pursuit satisfy us?
Today, I happened to read in Prov 19:2 that desire without knowledge is not good. If we desire something that is not based on knowledge, we will be disappointed. If we want to love someone, we need to get to know them. So love that is limited to the physical world cant take non-material knowledge into account.
Dawkins may be consistent with beliefs in his reasoning but living out his beliefs is impractical and unfulfilling. So, while love may ultimately be expressed through our bodies, I couldn’t speak of love only in terms of science!