Sunday, February 1, 2009

Science & Ethical Democracy

A recent article on Science (see link below) prompted some thoughts I have about Science & Ethical Democracy. I would like to tentatively assert that Ethical Democracy is the proper context for the pursuit of multiple truths, both scientific and religious.

Religion and Science are and always have been central preoccupations of Self, Society, Technology, Progress and Civilization, no matter whether such society is arbitrarily defined as "primitive" or "modern", "simple" or "complex".

Religion has its origin in the feeling of AWE in the presence of Nature. Science has its Origin in activities of INQUIRY about Nature.

Science demands EVIDENCE and PROOF. Religion on the other hand depends on FAITH and BELIEF.
Without EVIDENCE and PROOF there is no SCIENCE.
Without FAITH and BELIEF there is no RELIGION.

That admirable multidimensional scientist and probably religious believer, the late great Stephen Jay Gould observed that science and religion are "non-overlapping magisteria." How aptly grand his choice of words to describe humynkind's two overriding preoccupations.

Contrary to the assertion in the article linked below, Science is NOT engaged in the pursuit of TRUTH, whatever that may be. Instead Science is engaged in the examination of EVIDENCE and evolving (not fixed) conclusions (PROOF) based upon that specific evidence. Similarly, RELIGION is also not engaged in the search for TRUTH, whatever that may be. Those who consider themselves religious or spiritual or who subscribe to the belief of a Supreme Agency, are not interested in TRUTH but on keeping FAITH and maintaining BELIEF that such Supreme Agency exists.

But by placing TRUTH outside of the purview of both Science and Religion, I have given myself the task of trying to identify TRUTH in its location in lived practices of the SELF in SOCIETY.

Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice

New York Times article
by Dennis Oberbye
Elevating Science Elevating Democracy

Stephen Jay Gould on Science and Religion
Nonoverlapping Magisteria

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