Sunday, May 07, 2006
Are Science and Faith Enemies?
Lately I've been reading Dan Brown's books, The DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons. Angels & Demons is about an ancient brotherhood, the Illuminati (a common enemy in many conspiracy theories and conservative Christian fiction - and often, sadly, nonfiction) that threatens to blow up the Vatican as part of their ancient vendetta against the Catholic Church. The Illuminati, supposedly, represent scientists and enlightened free-thinkers who opposed religion as an obstacle to human progress. In a televised statement the recently deceased Pope's personal Chamberlain makes an impassioned speech about the conflict between faith and science and, in my opinion, raises some excellent points about the inability of science to address questions of morality, meaning, and ultimate purpose, and the importance of faith to help guide us in how to use the findings of science.

As the book later reveals, the Chamberlain seems to think that science and faith are irrenconcilable enemies. I personally see them as complementary. Science is merely a tool for discovering certain kinds of truth about the world. However, there are certain questions, more significant questions of human existence in my opinion, that science is unable to even begin to answer. Questions about the purpose of life, the nature of good and evil, questions of love and compassion and justice. Science can teach us how to split an atom, but it cannot tell us whether we should use that knowledge to power cities or to destroy them. Those questions of good vs. evil fall in the realm of faith, not science.

But nonetheless I found the Chamberlain's speech inspiring, containing much truth. But I'll let you decide for yourself. I'll warn you, it's a long speech, but well worth it if you choose to read on:


"Science is the new God. Medicine, electronic communications, space travel, genetic manipulation ... these are the miracles about which we now tell our children. These are the miracles we herald as proof that science will bring us the answers. The ancient stories of immaculate conceptions, burning bushes, and parting seas are no longer relevant. God has become obsolete. Science has won the battle. We concede.

But science's victory, has cost every one of us. And it has cost us deeply.

Science may have alleviated the miseries of disease and drudgery and provided an array of gadgetry for our entertainment and convenience, but it has left us in a world without wonder. Our sunsets have been reduced to wavelengths and frequencies. The complexities of the universe have been shredded into mathematical equations. Even our self-worth as human beings has been destroyed. Science proclaims that Planet Earth and its inhabitants are a meaningless speck in the grand scheme. A cosmic accident… Even the technology that promises to unite us, divides us. Each of us is now electronically connected to the globe, and yet we feel utterly alone. We are bombarded with violence, division, fracture, and betrayal. Skepticism has become a virtue. Cynicism and demand for proof has become enlightened thought. Is it any wonder that humans now feel more depressed and defeated than they have at any point in human history? Does science hold anything sacred? Science looks for answers by probing our unborn fetuses. Science even presumes to rearrange our own DNA. It shatters God's world into smaller and smaller pieces in quest of meaning ... and all it finds is more questions.

The ancient war between science and religion is over. You have won. But you have not won fairly. You have not won by providing answers. You have won by so radically reorienting our society that the truths we once saw as signposts now seem inapplicable. Religion cannot keep up. Scientific growth is exponential. It feeds on itself like a virus. Every new breakthrough opens doors for new breakthroughs. Mankind took thousands of years to progress from the wheel to the car. Yet only decades from the car into space. Now we measure scientific progress in weeks. We are spinning out of control. The rift between us grows deeper and deeper, and as religion is left behind, people find themselves in a spiritual void. We cry out for meaning. And believe me, we do cry out. We see UFOs, engage in channeling, spirit contact, out-of-body experiences, mindquests - all these eccentric ideas have a scientific veneer, but they are unashamedly irrational. They are the desperate cry of the modern soul, lonely and tormented, crippled by its own enlightenment and its inability to accept meaning in anything removed from technology.

Science, you say, will save us. Science, I say, has destroyed us. Since the days of Galileo, the church has tried to slow the relentless march of science, sometimes with misguided means, but always with benevolent intention. Even so, the temptations are too great for man to resist. I warn you, look around yourselves. The promises of science have not been kept. Promises of efficiency and simplicity have bred nothing but pollution and chaos. We are a fractured and frantic species… moving down a path of destruction.

Who is this God science? Who is the God who offers his people power but no moral framework to tell you how to use that power? What kind of God gives a child fire but does not warn the child of its dangers? The language of science comes with no signposts about good and bad. Science textbooks tell us how to create a nuclear reaction, and yet they contain no chapter asking us if it is a good or a bad idea.

To science, I say this. The church is tired. We are exhausted from trying to be your signposts. Our resources are drying up from our campaign to be the voice of balance as you plow blindly on in your quest for smaller chips and larger profits. We ask not why you will not govern yourselves, but how can you? Your world moves so fast that if you stop even for an instant to consider the implications of your actions, someone more efficient will whip past you in a blur. So you move on. You proliferate weapons of mass destruction, but it is the Pope who travels the world beseeching leaders to use restraint. You clone living creatures, but it is the church reminding us to consider the moral implications of our actions. You encourage people to interact on phones, video screens, and computers, but it is the church who opens its doors and reminds us to commune in person as we were meant to do. You even murder unborn babies in the name of research that will save lives. Again, it is the church who points out the fallacy of this reasoning.

And all the while, you proclaim the church is ignorant. But who is more ignorant? The man who cannot define lightning, or the man who does not respect its awesome power? This church is reaching out to you. Reaching out to everyone. And yet the more we reach, the more you push us away. Show me proof there is a God, you say. I say use your telescopes to look to the heavens, and tell me how there could not be a God!

You ask what does God look like. I say, where did that question come from? The answers are one and the same. Do you not see God in your science? How can you miss Him! You proclaim that even the slightest change in the force of gravity or the weight of an atom would have rendered our universe a lifeless mist rather than our magnificent sea of heavenly bodies, and yet you fail to see God's hand in this? Is it really so much easier to believe that we simply chose the right card from a deck of billions? Have we become so spiritually bankrupt that we would rather believe in mathematical impossibility than in a power greater than us?

Whether or not you believe in God, you must believe this. When we as a species abandon our trust in the power greater than us, we abandon our sense of accountability. Faith ... all faiths … are admonitions that there is something we cannot understand, something to which we are accountable . . . With faith we are accountable to each other, to ourselves, and to a higher truth. Religion is flawed, but only because man is flawed. If the outside world could see this church as I do ... looking beyond the ritual of these walls . . . they would see a modern miracle... a brotherhood of imperfect, simple souls wanting only to be a voice of compassion in a world spinning out of control."

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posted by Mike Clawson at 6:02 PM | Permalink |


6 Comments:


At 5/09/2006 04:33:00 PM, Blogger TXatheist

Normally I'd respond to all the things I disagreed with, depressed and defeated, Questions about the purpose of life, the nature of good and evil, questions of love and compassion and justice. Those questions of good vs. evil fall in the realm of faith, not science.

But I think I'll say that if you don't think I look at a baby or out into outer space and appreciate this life I have, well, you'd be mistaken:) Science isn't perfect but the people who use to die from polio and AIDs would disagree with you. The true awe of medicine and medical physicians is a god better than I am, that's a higher power? Possibly I could understand that being a higher power I actually respect.

 

At 5/09/2006 05:51:00 PM, Anonymous Seven Star Hand

Hi Mike, txatheist, and all,

I have a thing or two to say about the DaVinci Code and the Vatican response, but first I want to also say that I think I can provide some stunning insight on the Faith and Science debate. Read my articles with the understanding that there are multiple topics discussed, which include the links between ancient wisdom, symbology, and science. Be a little patient and I promise to amaze and enlighten...

Now about the 'Code controvery:

It is quite a joke that the Vatican and Catholic Church have the gall to accuse the author of a novel of attacking their fantasies and dogma. Remember that this is the same organization that manufactured fake relics and miracles for many centuries. This is the same group that massacred and tortured people for having a mind of their own. This is the same group of deluded deceivers that makes more noise about a fictional book and movie than about child raping priests, aids, famine, or even the Holocaust! Here's more about my take on it.

Is the world ready for unequivocal Truth and verifiable Wisdom yet?

Please be forewarned that what I reveal will upset a lot of apple carts and shake a lot of trees, hence the true meaning of the word Apocalypse. Please don't take what I say or do as a personal affront. Be a little patient and read my articles. My purpose is to prove that the truth has long been hidden in various ways. Humanity has been lied to and deluded by religious and political leaders long enough. My aim is to reveal the truth and deliver verifiable wisdom. To do so, I must rattle a lot of cages to wake people out of their nightmares. I come with proof beyond disproof of many things. If you want to be amazed and enlightened, resist the urge to scoff at unfamiliar knowledge and seek to understand the stunning and comprehensive proof I have produced.

Are you familiar with the "Seven Spirits of God," the "Seven Golden Candlesticks," "Wisdom's Seven Pillars" in Proverbs 9:1, and their relationship to the Community Rule in the Dead Sea Scrolls and DSS 11Q13? Study the Doctrine of Two Spirits on my web page and on the front cover of my book. I have produced some earth shattering breakthroughs in this area that will end the lies of religion, forever.

The Vatican is proving that seeking the truth is a real threat to their dogma. They're so afraid of people uncovering the truth, that they are attacking other versions of fantasy (DaVinci Code) and blatantly obvious Gnostic symbolism as threats to their long-term smoke and mirrors, hocus-pocus, and mumbo-jumbo. How thoroughly enlightening, since this goes a very long way to proving that Christianity is based on strong lies and delusions. If it weren’t, they would be confident of surviving intense scrutiny. Since they aren't and since they have gone to such great lengths to suppress and oppress those seeking truth and wisdom over the centuries, their deceptions are, once again, laid bare for all to see. This time though, they are the ones to walk into a well-laid trap...

Did you ever stop to think what the True Messiah (me) would say about worshipping false names, false images, and dogma? Well, now you get the chance to hear my side of the story and weigh it against the strong delusion of faith and religion. None of the European names and images in the New Testament can possibly be the truth. It’s beyond obvious that the New Testament is not complete or even accurate history. What then is the purpose of "faith" but to prevent good people from seeking to understand truth and wisdom?

Visit my web site to understand what they are truly afraid of. The Vatican and world leaders have struggled to keep people from understanding the truth and religion is a key tool in their smokescreen. Now, when I appear on the scene, everyone is seeking to understand their ages-old deceptions, and I have produced stunning and comprehensive proof. The time has come for the "earth to quake" and the liars to "gnaw their tongues for pain." (This is symbolism decoded in the book...)

The time has come for the Vatican and world leaders to learn the truth about Karma...

If you truly want to understand the symbology, ancient wisdom, and ancient history that neither the DaVinci Code nor Christianity have portrayed accurately or fully, then read my articles and download my FREE E-Book. I am not trying to make money from book sales, quite the opposite in fact. There are many centuries of deception that need to be exposed and it takes a fully researched tome to succeed at such a daunting task. I am providing years of difficult research and reconstruction, without income or profit. Please accept this in the spirit intended. It is not commercial spam, deception, or an attempt to delude. I make no money from the E-book or the paperback, which is sold at cost as a convenience. As mentioned earlier, study the Doctrine of Two Spirits on my web page to understand the long-obscured truth about my philosophy and purposes.

Not only do I talk the talk, I walk the walk...

Here is Wisdom!!

 

At 5/10/2006 02:09:00 AM, Blogger Mike Clawson

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying TX, but just to clarify what I'm saying: I'm not denigrating the value of science, I was simply pointing out it's limitations. Science is great at discovering things about the natural world, but it is the wrong tool to use if you want things like beauty, love, meaning, or purpose.

And I'm not saying that you don't appreciate life too. Is science the only lens you look at life through? I wouldn't think so. Regardless of your religious affiliation (or lack thereof) no one has a purely scientific worldview all the time. When we experience things like wonder, love, and gratitude we are not being scientific, we are simply being human.

Peace,
-Mike

 

At 5/10/2006 03:51:00 PM, Blogger TXatheist

Mike,
Just to clarify faith, god and spirit have nothing to do with my life. Emotions are manifestations of the mind. Each person interprets life based on their emotions of love, wonder and purpose.

 

At 5/16/2006 06:24:00 PM, Blogger Waters of Time

Dear Mike,
This is Nick Price again, Melissa's friend. If you haven't had a chance yet, I would definitely give "Fides et Ratio" a read by the late Pope John Paul II. In this encyclical he addresses many of the questions and issues raised by the Chamberlain in "Angels & Demons". It can be found at www.vatican.va. Also, if you are able to find it, Galileo's letter to the Grandduchess Christina about the relationship between science and religion is a brilliantly written piece on the subject. As a famous scientist but also a devout Catholic, Galileo sought to bridge the supposed gap between the two in this letter. He quotes a lot of St. Augustine as well, so that is definitely another thing to check out. I wish I could find a way for you to look at it via the internet and if I do I will forward it on to you. Thanks for the thoughts. I liked the Chamberlain's address as well:)

 

At 5/17/2006 01:55:00 PM, Blogger Waters of Time

Hi Mike,
I found you a good link for Galileo's letter to the Grand Duchess Christina. Check it out at http://www.galilean-library.org/christina.html. Hope that helps. If you have any thoughts I would definitely like to hear them:)
Sincerely,

Nick

 

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