In the following thread ...
Does culture bias weaken the argument that modern science and a religious world view are compatible?
... the questioner presents the following discussion between an atheist and a theist, and afterwards proceeds to scrutinize the argument made by the theist.
ATH: "Modern science and reason are incompatible with a religious world view."
TH: "That's not true, many scientists, mathematicians and philosophers are also people of faith."
But, what does it even mean for a world view to be compatible with "modern science and reason"? It does not make much sense to me that we immediately rush to criticize the argument made by the theist, if we cannot first give a clear and concise definition of what scientific compatibility is all about, why it matters, and how we may go about proving its existence or inexistance in any particular context.
That is my question. You don't have to read the below text, that's just me thinking out loud.
If we define scientific compatibility as any world view for which there is no empirical (material) evidence, well, then in that case, a theist world view is by definition incompatible with modern science, and thus invoking the notion of scientific compatibility in a discussion with a theist seems like a pointless catch-22. How is the theist suppose to argue for the scientific compatibility of their belief when the word scientific compatibility has been defined in such a way to ensure their belief is incompatible?
And further, if we proceed with this definition, why should the theist even care about scientific compatibility? By the very nature of them being a theist, they do not value empirical evidence above all else, and therefore have no reason to care much for this particular notion of scientific compatibility.
We could also define scientific compatibility as any world view which does not directly contradict a prevailing scientific theory. Well, in that case, the definition is trivial and useless, as any belief can be made scientifically compatible by simply adding an addendum to explain why modern science reached a particular conclusion. By definition, such a belief would be compatible with that particular scientific conclusion. For example, take the beliefs "God created the world 5000 years ago" and "the Universe as we observe it (!) began with the Big Bang some billions of years ago". These could both be made compatible by merely adding to the first belief the addendum "...and God made it seem like the Universe began with the Big Bang some billions of years ago".
Or we could define scientific compatibility to be person-specific, in the sense that a person's beliefs are compatible with their scientific knowledge if this person can have these beliefs and still respect and contribute to that scientific knowledge. Well, in that case, the argument made by the theist in the discussion at the start of this posts seems to be perfectly valid, as indeed a scientist of faith is by definition a person who contributes to science despite having a faith, and therefore their faith is scientifically compatible using the current definition, and so pointing out that many scientists are also believers seems to be a perfectly valid why to prove that faith can be compatible with science.
Anyways, that's just my thoughts. What's the definition that other people typically use?