Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Fundamentalist Religion of Science

There is a new religion in town and it prays to the god, science. Its followers have been brainwashed by a materialistic culture and believe that all the answers reside within scientific theories. Because of the wonderful things science has done and the wonderful worlds it has revealed, these acolytes believe that nothing is beyond its ken. They believe that every question is answerable with time and evidence. They have a smug faith in the world that they believe science tells them they live in. They are the worst kind of fundamentalist, intolerant of all other world views but their own.

But science doesn’t solve anything. At most, it rearranges the mystery. It is a tool and not some great oracle of ultimate truth. We live in a world of dark matter and quarks, but the great questions are still the great questions. Those of a religious nature answer these questions with faith. They believe in a mythological resolution to the mysteries of the universe. As do those that worship in the scientific materialist church of the 21st century believe in a logical resolution. But there is one great difference. Those of a religious nature still know the mystery, still know the sacred value of inscrutable creation, still know the unknowable.

Myself, I am not of a religious nature. The Catholic Church took care of that a long time ago. But I like to think of myself as one of a spiritual nature. I believe in the sacred order of creation, the intricate balance within the universe, and the great mysterious. I believe that fundamentalist religions have caused much pain and suffering throughout history in the name of faith and God. But I also believe that the scientific-materialists will bring about the end of the world that we know and love with their complete disrespect for such order and balance in the universe in general and the earth in particular. It may not be nuclear, but still it’s da (metaphorical) bomb.

4 comments:

Curtis Gale Weeks said...

My, my: controversy at g r a p e z!

"I believe in the sacred order of creation, the intricate balance within the universe, and the great mysterious."

This is interesting, because it suggests that creation and the universe are not mysterious: we know they are sacred or intricately balanced. So what is "the great mysterious," and how can we know what is mysterious? Hm.

My problem with platitudes like this is not that they are false -- or, true -- but that, knowing these things doesn't do much for me. If all is sacredly ordered and/or intricately balanced, nothing I can do can change that fact, surely! Similarly, I need do nothing to bring about order/balance, if all is already ordered/balanced. I suppose I could find solace in knowing that my efforts are pitifully trifling within the universe -- it will remain ordered/balanced whether I act or not. Why then would I act, or not, on the basis of knowing these things? I mean, quite seriously, even my ignorance of the fact that the universe is ordered/balanced, and even my, er, tragic fear of chaos and imbalance, would be part of the eternal and irrefutable balance! In fact, chaos, disorder, etc., etc., if they exist (even merely in my head) must be necessary components of the sacred order and intricate balance! And thus, my consolation is that whatever I do, I am meant to do, because it is part of that sacred and intricate nature of All. How liberating! (Still, knowing these things does not inform me much, or help me shape my life, for the aforementioned reasons...)

Greg said...

That's interesting double-speak as well Curtis. But, be it platitude or not, it is something even science sees. Even in chaos itself. Now one can go railing into the midnight like a spoiled child wreaking havoc crying that whatever crazy shit I do is part of that balance. And in the end be corrected by some shitstorm that brings your ass back into balance. (Because balance doesn't mean stasis but rather a movement, sometimes violent, that over time, corrects such imbalance, moving inexorably towards its end.) Or you can do your best to ride the whirlstorm feeling for your balance. And doing so would help shape your life. But that's entirely up to you. Us.

Curtis Gale Weeks said...

Greg, one of my favorite activities is the study of chaos: chaos theory and complexity. And, on my blog I've railed against "stasis" a time or two.

Really, I'm something of a skeptic in the classical sense. The great thing about befuddlement is that it allows for the possibility of serendipity! Of course, another requirement of serendipity is that we must occasionally be skeptical of our skepticism.

yelhsacrow said...

It seems to me that "platitude" is a word people use to describe something whose truth they consider too simple to be worth grasping, as though their estimation is what creates its value. This may, in fact, be true, in which case, only a person's failure to rise above her/his limited perspective makes another person's truth a "platitude."

I apologize, I just got back from watching that Narnia movie and I am cranky.

Greg: Hallelujah, brother!