(This letter on Science and Religion refers back to the essay: The Moral Law: A Response to Carl Sagan and the correspondence it generated.)
Dear Seapadre and David,
I'm not sure how far behind I am in your discussions, concerning science and faith.
I too was a young man once, who pondered and settled many of the issues raised in your discussion. Having convinced one's self of anything does not really define what is "true." Science tells us that truth is not subjective. Not everything, though, is quantifiable. The world is not a figment of our imagination and subject to our will as some " new agers" would have us think. From Plato, we do not know what reality fully is, since we are limited by our senses and our reason, but we know it exists. We do not each live in a subjective and separate reality, as a drug induced Carlos Castenada told my generation. Humans are not merely anthropoids, who think, for we seek knowledge and not merely for utilitarian reasons. Why do we love music? why do we love art? why do we want to be good? These questions are not merely musings to be answered at will.
A friend of mine who is ordained as a Presbyterian, but practices Catholicism once told me that "All Truth belongs to God." Believe it or not this was the thinking of a great many people up to and through the "Enlightenment." Natural Philosophy, today's Physics, sought to uncover God's rules for the universe. Western peoples have only recently come to conclusion that science and faith are separated, it was not so in Isaac Newton's day. The problem today is that many scientists no longer know what science is. They have become convinced over the last century that science can also serve a vehicle to "improve" man( this is Marxist scientism). Examples of this include, eugenics, Malthusian/Ehrlich's population theories, race superiority theory, didactic evolution(Carl Sagan and J. Bronowski's realm) and now "Environmentalism." Each of these theories and practices have led men to great horrors, Nazism, communism, infanticide and the laundry list bad ideas continue. Scientists continue to bring us weapons of mass destruction, diet pills, hallucinogens and also develop "medications" to kill children in their mothers' wombs.
In Science, how do we judge what is right? Who will tell us what is good? Science can only tell us how, but it will never tell us why. Philosophy and its logical extension theology seek the why and the who.
By the way, Catholics do not blindly follow on the moral teachings of the Pope, sadly many Catholics disregard the Church's teachings. A good many Catholics, however, know that the Church's teachings are good for them, not only in this world but in the next. Even from a ultilitarian view point, following the Church is a good idea. Now as for teaching your children, this is most serious project that you will undertake. It was in the raising of our children that my Unitarian Jewish wife, came over to Christianity.(Anglican initially, now to Roman Catholicism since it provided the best of tradition of philosophical inquiry and a theology based on God's love.)
Keep searching for Truth, its there, "Seek and ye shall Find"
UC Santa Cruz '76