Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Are science and religion compatible

It is only the extremes on either end-- scientific popularizers and religious fundamentalists, who make the relation of science and religion a fratricidal squabble, The popularizers are more likely than the scientists involved in basic research, to take a superficial view of religion. 

It does not help that, to speak of the most common scenario, Christians do not denounce the fundamentalist wing of Western religion. Thinking about this, though---- it does seem like a pretty unchristian thing to do, toss out the loud-mouth haters. And, who is not guilty of that themselves sometimes-- being a loud-mouthed hater. So if there is anything left of Christian charity in the world, such a perspective would argue against kicking out the extremes. Maybe. 

Being a loud-mouth hater is a hazard with words.  In fact, to stick to a verbal formula may be a definition of loud-mouthed hater. But to pick out as exemplary, such fringe figures ( I am not naming names here, but one of those religious leaders in the recent past labeled me a witch) denotes a certain intellectual superficiality on the side of those who call themselves scientific spokespeople.And that is what the scientistic popularizers like to do -- pick some podium grabber, and treat such a person as the beginning and end of religion.

It doesn't help that scientists are right, not if you assume I have some dog in this fight, though I aim not to. But religion is an outmoded vocabulary. That does not mean there is not a reality to which these words refer. That is the complexity that both science and religion fail to weigh -- that the words must fail, in the end, to encompass the important stuff. Always and forever. About that -- the limitations of words-  historically religion has traditionally been more perceptive. Yet now, religion seems like an outmoded wardrobe.

And science has this argument. Their results are real. Where they fail, is to appreciate that their focus,their domain, is not the world, it is just the external world. Only in the last century would that position be able to keep up a facade of rationality. For how does the knower of such an external world, on the other side of the sensory apparatus, how does such a knower, know, anything, at all? 

Maybe tomorrow we can take up the question of whether western science itself, does not reveal a christian structure. 

No comments: