Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More on Science II

This is the second part of a series considering the relationship between religion and science. The first part can be read below under the post titles More on Science.

Levin is careful to note that the preservation of life and the avoidance of suffering are not necessarily incompatible with the pursuit of virtue. There is something noble about a society that refuses to accept suffering even for the lowliest of its members. Nevertheless, as Levin observes, in society driven by science, “It is very hard to describe something higher than health." As a result, people of good will are disposed to pay for health even when doing so demands the rejection of time-honored principles and self-evident truths.

One of principles with which modern man has paid for scientific advancement has been his capacity for self-governance. Because science has made enticing promises (a long life with limited suffering and hardship), and as often as not has delivered on this promise, the good of science has superseded the ability of politics to “act in the service of other important goods." The activity of science is beyond reproach. Public opinion cannot touch it. If science has determined something to be safe and of benefit to some group of people, there is very little that can be done to regulate it. The author cites the debates about RU-486 in the House of Representatives during which some delegates decried the involvement of ‘personal beliefs’ in making a determination about the benefit of the drug. If science says it is safe, there is no good reason to limit it. Such is the stranglehold the science has on the modern conception of knowledge. Philosophy, theology, and other disciplines that have traditionally helped humans appropriate the moral quality of an action are no longer considered forms of knowledge. Resultantly, they have nothing to offer that might shed light on the conclusions of science. Without these disciplines, however, science becomes, de facto, the discipline that tells people how to live. If something can be done, science teaches, it ought to be done.

Ultimately, Levin argues, science has reshaped the moral attitudes of man. Science is both the end of moral decision-making and the means by which such decisions are made. The natural consequence of this mentality is the human incapacity to tell the difference between good and evil. Science has reshaped people, and the shape they have taken does not bode well for the preservation of society, of culture, or of the souls of modern men.


J. Thorp said...

Tyler, my friend, we gotta get together soon -- this is fascinating!

Thanks for continuing to share. I want to discuss, but if I start, there will be no stopping ...

Jinglebob said...

No stopping you Jim? I am shocked! Shocked I tell you!

Yup interesting stuff Tyler has posted here.

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.