Taking The Unity of Truth Notion Seriously

Taking The Unity of Truth Notion Seriously June 28, 2009

Cosmologist Lawrence M. Krauss on the incompatibility of God and science.  The whole piece is worth your time.  This succinct statement summing up the article, however, hits the nail on the head:

My practice as a scientist is atheistic. That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel or devil is going to interfere with its course; and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my professional career. I should therefore be intellectually dishonest if I were not also atheistic in the affairs of the world.

Even the majority of us who are not actually scientists should follow the wisdom of extending the power of naturalism for explanation, with all the refusal of the possibility of supernaturalism that is entailed in that explanatory power, to the rest of our thought.  The universe cannot be regular and subject to natural laws of causation only in a laboratory but not in a church.

An anecdote about the Catholic scientists who wanted to affirm room for faith alongside science:

When I confronted my two Catholic colleagues on the panel with the apparent miracle of the virgin birth and asked how they could reconcile this with basic biology, I was ultimately told that perhaps this biblical claim merely meant to emphasize what an important event the birth was. Neither came to the explicit defense of what is undeniably one of the central tenets of Catholic theology.

And even assuming truth is the total matter of indifference that advocates of religion for its purported social and personal benefits implicitly treat it as, what difference does it make to the world what people believe?

Finally, it is worth pointing out that these issues are not purely academic. The current crisis in Iran has laid bare the striking inconsistency between a world built on reason and a world built on religious dogma.

Perhaps the most important contribution an honest assessment of the incompatibility between science and religious doctrine can provide is to make it starkly clear that in human affairs — as well as in the rest of the physical world — reason is the better guide.

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