Comments: General Synod - reports on Friday's business

Perhaps the religious would like to tell the scientist about the progress of time in linear fashion towards a last day of general resurrection, or indeed an intervention in time of a specific resurrection, or indeed many doctrines given historical 'substance' all of which are contradictory to scientific relativity and evolving in chaotic systems never mind versions of philosophical relativity.

Religion as pre-set doctrine explains nothing of how and virtually nothing of why.

If religion acquired the same ethos of science, that is of revision according to new findings, then it might be compatible with science, but maintenance of tradition and ritual is a different business from science finding things out. Religion ought to be a reflection on and contemplation about what we have found.

Posted by Pluralist at Saturday, 13 February 2010 at 2:53am GMT

"Religion ought to be a reflection on and contemplation about what we have found."

Another classical Adrianism! Another experience free assertion based on fractional truth. Of course religion reflects on what we have have found. It is however not limited to that and should also contemplate that which we have not yet found. BTW, if he had ever worked as a scientist he would know that we constantly speculate on what we have not yet found, or even, what we have not yet understood about that which we have found.

Posted by John Waldsax at Saturday, 13 February 2010 at 11:30am GMT

Adrian's perfectly correct - so long as one accepts a particular set of a priori statements. If metaphysics is about word-games to describe human interaction with the environment, then the conclusion inexorably reached is the one from which one sets out. I can't prove or disprove the a priori! Nor is it my job to do so!

There's an interesting genetic fallacy game to be played here: if religion is capable of being demonstrably coherent with what we know of the universe, then it is possible to hold that is a complete and sufficient explanation of the phenomenon: ie 'you don't need a god to....' If on the other hand religion is NOT demonstrably coherent, then its incoherence may be used as an argument against metaphysical truth claims.

Mind, you could argue that since religion's vulnerable on both fronts, it's proof that the entire metaphysical apparatus is a pile of dodo droppings.....

Posted by Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Saturday, 13 February 2010 at 12:35pm GMT

"Capon added: "I am not suggesting that we should take the Bible, the inspired word of God, with anything other than the utmost seriousness and reverence. But we make a category mistake if we try to read it as a modern scientific textbook. We should be very wary of staking everything on proving or disproving a particular scientific proof." - Art.by Stephen Bates in The Guardian -

What Dr. Peter Capon says here is entirely in accord with this modern Church-person's understanding of the argument about science being not an adversary of religion, but rather from a purely spiritual point of view, its handmaid.

How sad it is then, that those Christians who embrace the idea of discrimination against gays and women in the Church should believe that they have divine permission to pursue this attitude - despite scientific and societal observation which no longer supports their conservative view.

Scientific speculation is no less important a discipline than that of theology. The Universe did not stop evolving with the publication of the King james version of the Bible. Nor, in the light of the modern scientific research, can any reasonable person any longer uphold every aspect the biblical story of creation - as represented in the Scriptures. The scriptures are a not a historical record of the events of creation - otherwise, there would be only one account of the process. Science, therefore, has to be taken into account when dealing with the relationship between God and the Creation.

Science and theology, for very practical reasons, must co-operate with one another, as ways in which we human beings can better try to understand our place and relatedness to both Creator and created. The dichotomy that once existed between religion and science can no longer be justified - if only on the grounds that: if God created the cosmos, why do we shrink from the only discipline that can help us to understand its inner workings?

This being said. The great mystery that connects us with both the Creator and the Creation remains something that can never be fully understood by any single living human being. We need to be open to whatever God wants to reveal of it to us - in God's good time, not ours.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 13 February 2010 at 11:13pm GMT
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