Religion, Science and Shakespeare

I was thinking about the alleged fight between science and religion (or as it is presented to me on social media, the fight between Evolution and Christianity) and I realized that we all learned what we need to know about this issue in school. However, it was not in science class as you might expect, but in English class that the answers came. To understand the relationship between science and God, consider Shakespeare.

Shakespeare was the George Lucas of his day. He wrote a lot of popular entertainment (based heavily on pre-existing entertainment) in a wide variety of styles, many of which had people being killed via swordfight.

Let’s consider Halmet. The fountain of knowledge which is Wikipedia says this:

Hamlet is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare … between 1599 and 1602. Set in the Kingdom of Denmark, the play dramatises the revenge Prince Hamlet is called to wreak upon his uncle, Claudius, by the ghost of Hamlet’s father, King Hamlet. Claudius had murdered his own brother and seized the throne, also marrying his deceased brother’s widow.

Just to be clear- William Shakespeare is not IN Hamlet. He wrote it. He is the author of the play. It is because of William’s will and pen that Prince Hamlet lives and moves and has his being. Shakespeare determined Hamlet’s appointed time in history and the boundaries of his story. In one poetic sense, Hamlet is Shakespeare’s offspring. He was made in the image of his author- a man with feelings and passions and a sense of justice.

What does all of this have to do with the conflict between God and science? It helps us define the terms of the conflict, and illuminates the actual matter.

Religion is the study of God- the author of life- the Shakespeare to our Hamlet. Science is the study of Hamlet and the world he inhabits. When Hamlet looks at his castle, or his family, or the horses and trees outside, he is doing science. When he considers the mind of Shakespeare, he is doing religion.

Religion is the study of what we can know about Shakespeare. Science is the study of what we can know about Hamlet. Atheism is when you realize Shakespeare is not one of the characters in Hamlet and therefore decide he didn’t exist.

And that is why there is no conflict between science and God. Without God, there would be no world to examine through science, just as without Shakespeare, there would be no Hamlet. And atheism once again fails the logic test by demanding that there is no Shakespeare, because-it asserts- a long, long story with LOTS of information can write itself. But science and common sense tell us that information, whether Hamlet of our DNA, needs an author. It cannot write itself.

Sorry Atheism, F-. See me after class.

For more from someone much smarter than I- check out CS Lewis on Finding God (Finding Shakespeare)

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