Science and Religion: Which Offers the Best Code of Ethics?
Several years ago, I saw a program (I believe on PBS), which arrayed scientist-skeptics against religious leaders on the questions of science versus religion.
I don't remember who all attended, but I do remember one scientist who seemed most vile in his smiling, smooth contempt of religion.
He said something about how logic and science can take care of all the ethical needs of humanity; that there is no need for religion.
I didn't know how to respond to such an idea. I was not yet prepared for such a challenge. I have loved science, but not more than God. Science is good, but far inferior to God and creation.
But how could I answer such a bold claim?
This is Wisdom
"And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands" (Jeremiah 1:16 KJV).
Those who worship the works of their own hands are sinning. Such is a crime to our very own spiritual nature. Why do you think graven images were such an abomination? That was only the tip of the iceberg.
"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good" (Psalm 14:1 KJV).
Those who say there is no God are corrupt in the eyes of the Lord.
Science and Religion
In my heart, I knew that science was subservient to God and His will, but my words were not yet perfected.
Can science and logic really handle all of our ethical and moral needs?
No, they cannot. And here's why.
Science studies the products of creation—the realm of continuity (action-reaction). Morals based upon continuity are inherently selfish and relativistic. Everything is relative to the self. If something is important, then it can only be important in terms of the self—relative to the self.
So, we end up with scientists bending the rules, fudging their data fraudulently. We see scientists mocking other scientists who go against the grain and against the sacred dogma of the moment, as they did in North American anthropology with the "Clovis first" doctrine. We see scientists re-running tests until they get the data the way their masters want it, as they did in tests of a cancer cure the pharmaceutical corporations wanted quashed.
What ultimately happens in a selfish society is that every person turns to looking out for themselves. The "self" becomes the all-important "god." This "self"—the ego—is the source of all evil. Every act of theft, lying, murder, rape, rage and more—all of these come from ego.
There is only a sliver of apparent difference between marital fidelity and curiosity about that new woman who joined the firm. And there is only a sliver of apparent difference between curiosity and "innocent" flirtation. The selfishness of ego can traverse several slender barriers of apparent difference all the way to an adulterous affair. Each barrier overcome is only a small excuse on the road to shameful behavior.
Every vector of human activity can similarly become corrupted. And even logic can be put to use in that quest—to murder, as did Hitler during the "Night of the Long Knives." Any crime can be justified.
The Fate of Civilization
Civilization cannot survive such rampant "logic."
Logic is a good tool in the right hands. Logic can delve the inner workings of the atom or the hearth-fires of new suns amidst the gargantuan clouds of interstellar dust.
But logic can hold the source of resentment in place for revenge. Logic prevents, and stands as a formidable barrier against, forgiveness. It remains illogical to forgive. It is unreasonable. But it is so much more than important.
And so is walking on water. Both are acts of creation.
Science and logic, left to their own devices will fail, because they are built on a foundation of continuity—the artificial construct of creation.
For all its apparent solidity, this physical realm really is an illusion and impermanent. A good friend of mine—a scientist with a PhD—once said of this illusion, "yes, but when you stub your toe, it still hurts." The same could be said of a video game when the programming leads to a collision and the consequences of that event. It's all programming, except for the children of God who need sweet rescue. Everything in this realm is action-reaction. That is what we must avoid making as our master.
We think we are these solid, Homo sapiens bodies, and that is the trap.
The entire purpose of humanity has been one of rescuing God's children and those children are not Homo sapiens. When the mission is complete, the tool that is humanity will be abandoned.
Science can take over. Religion will no longer be a factor. Logic will be left to its own devices based upon the ephemeral foundation of physical continuity—action-reaction, perpetrator-victim and the wailing and gnashing of teeth. Without the power of forgiveness, blood feuds will become the new force of humanity. Science and logic will have won their crown in hell. The soulless bodies of Homo sapiens animals will never climb to the stars on wings of starships.
There will never be a Captain Kirk without the shining sanity of spiritual faith. Alas!