Sy Garte in CT: I Assumed Science Had All the Answers. Then I Started Asking Inconvenient Questions

Great article @sygarte. I hope you are well my friend.


Paywalled unfortunately.

Hi Rich, I am about to send you an “unlock this article for your friends” link by PM.

Anyone else – if you want to read this beautiful article, please PM me and I will provide a link to you. I will be relocating from SC to Fairfax, VA in the next few days, so please forgive me if I respond slowly.



Great! Good luck with the move.

What’s great about it? Just looking at the preview depresses me.


All things considered, Sy is a greater supporter of science. You might not agree with him on non-science subjects. :wink:


I’m assuming that wasn’t intended as an answer to my question. The fact that he often supports science isn’t really relevant to the article he wrote.


11 posts were split to a new topic: John, Dale, and Atheist Dogma

Try this:

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I just read the piece. I liked it a lot, first because I like @sygarte a lot (meeting him in person is a specific goal of mine) and because I found it to be a human story of inspiration and goodness. It was not a screed about “atheist dogma,” which of course does not exist, nor was it a strained concordist apologetic or a denigration of science. And personally speaking, I found it familiar and inspiring because I remember being inspired by the gospel and I remember how it felt to discover the reality of Christianity (for me, this meant lightly biblicist evangelicalism in one era, and the Reformed tradition in a later one) and how it differed from my assumptions or the pictures that others had painted. What Sy’s piece did for me, for what it’s worth, is to remind me that the gospel and Christian faith can be inspiring, for good.

I do think it’s unfortunate that Sy depicts the particulars of his youth/upbringing as somehow representative of an atheist “dogma” or ethos or something like that. This is not only false by definition (“atheism” just isn’t a system of belief, by definition) but also is inconsistent with what we know about unbelief and about godless people. I am certain that lots of godless parents teach their children falsehoods about religion, and it is plain fact that lots of believing parents teach their children falsehoods about science. It’s far more reasonable to ascribe the latter to “dogma” but both are probably better explained, overall, by cultural and social aspects of humanness that are as normal as they are lamentable.

I think Christianity is toxic crap, and I think the Christian god is a creepy phantasm. I reached those conclusions by asking questions, perhaps in the same ways that Sy did. And I think it is irresponsible and intellectually goofy to talk about “atheist dogma.” But I can still be inspired by a story like Sy’s, and even by a person like Sy.


Perhaps it should have a title that reflects that rather than the one it has. I resent the implications that a) asking questions is a problem for science and b) if science doesn’t have all the answers, therefore Jesus must have them. He needs to ask Jesus some more questions and judge how satisfactory the answers are by the same standard he should use for science. “It makes me happy” is not in my opinion a good standard.


Yeah, I agree with that. I guess I have appropriately low expectations for publications by and for evangelicals.

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