|©2009 Edward F. Sylvia, M.T.S. Staircase Press.|
“Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.”
Most people recognize this famous quote from Albert Einstein. Although Einstein was against organized religious dogma he believed that science was lame and disabled without embracing a moral element. In other words, science needs to go beyond simply increasing knowledge. Knowledge should bear the additional fruit of goodness.
Materialistic science or naturalism often fails to see the deeper agency operating within its own endeavors. Science does not end its work with a new discovery. No sooner is something newly discovered than its focus changes over to making this knowledge beneficial and useful to the world.
In other words, science would indeed be “lame” if it had no application to serving humankind and the good of society.
Hmmm? Think about that.
It is said that science deals with facts and religion deals with values. Therefore the two truth-systems are mutually exclusive of each other. But isn’t serving humankind for the betterment of society a value? Isn’t a scientific discovery that improves the quality of our life the same enterprise as “loving the neighbor”?
You might criticize this assessment because a scientist may be driven by self-promotion, celebrity status and public reward but this overlooks the fact that even a selfish motive cannot succeed without bearing useful fruit. Besides, a motive deals with the human heart and its values.
A volitional element, such as intention, aim, purpose, desire, passion or disposition drives the whole pursuit of scientific discovery. These drives are all derivatives of LOVE!
Both the scientist and clergyman, both the atheist and believer, are driven by some agency of love. Evolution has taken the human species to exploit a unique niche in the world that embraces values not just information and data. The universe is more than computational—it is volitional.
Love can lead us to solving the mysteries of gravitational order as well as the mysteries of faith. I have addressed these topics in my upcoming book, Proving God. This blog was created to give you a small taste of how science and theology can be rationally united.
Unfortunately, many people’s oxen will be gored by this challenging project. Unifying science and religion will require changing our present assumptions about both.
In my previous post I discussed the first half of Einstein’s famous quote “Science without religion is lame.” As promised, I will now address the second part of his quote “Religion without science is blind.”
What this means is that Religion should always make sense.
Many scientists fail to see the logic behind religious belief and the clergy do not help matters by insisting that faith must transcend logic. Scientists do not embrace a God who promotes ignorance. Certainly, history provides us with examples of how religion stood in the way of scientific discovery—such as proving the earth revolves around the sun.
Scientist/theologian, Emanuel Swedenborg, stated, “God would not have given humans such an ample brain, then turn around and demand only faith.” He also stated “philosophy is the bridegroom of religion.” In other words, we need knowledge to form a partnership with the heart (will) so that we can act properly in life.
While Divine Intelligence is indeed beyond the reach of human intelligence, God’s Truth is never irrational. Furthermore, God wants to reveal things about Himself to us so that we can intellectually understand what our cosmic duty is.
The problem is that both science and religion have become equally materialistic! Both truth-systems have adopted a materialistic philosophy. Science sees everything in the world as physical while theologians see everything in Scripture as physical.
Naturalism blinds both scientists from seeing spiritual causality in the world and theologians from seeing the profound depth of meaning within the biblical narratives. In the case of Bible interpretation (exegesis), literalism forces the clergy to shut off their minds.
For instance, a literal understanding of Holy Scripture creates a false picture in our minds that God is a trinity of distinct Persons (Father. Son, and Holy Spirit). A scientist would question how Jesus was God’s only begotten Son when they both existed from eternity—because both are supposed to be equally God (the emergence of the Holy Spirit only adds more confusion to the story). To beget something implies that something came first, so how could all three Gods be equally infinite and eternal if they appeared in a sequence? The clergy simply chalk this up as a “mystery of faith.”
The Lord’s Second Coming will resolve all this. That is, it will destroy the Great Dragon of materialistic philosophy. The Second Coming represents new spiritual instruction for the modern human mind. Such new “revelations” will teach us that The Lord’s return represents the new spiritual teachings that will appear out of the depths of the literal meanings of Holy Scripture. The literal meanings of the biblical narratives are the actual clouds that obscure human understanding from its deeper, spiritual truths. That is why Revelation states that the Lord will “come with the clouds” (not simply make a surprise appearance on an overcast day).
These new teachings will allow us to enter into the mysteries of faith from our rational minds. So, rather than seeing God as three Persons, we will see the Creator as possessing three heavenly operations—Divine Love (the Father), Divine Truth (the Son) and Divine Activity (the Holy Spirit). Divine Love (Infinite being) begets Divine Truth (Infinite existence and form) and both beget Divine Doing (Love taking form in Truth through Action). In God these modes exist simultaneously and from eternity.
It was Jehovah God Himself who came into the world in the physical body of Jesus. This was the ultimate covenant between God and man.
Yes! The Second Coming is taking place now with those who are willing to stretch their brains and learn more.
Edward F. Sylvia, M.T.S. is the author of Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden. His next book, Proving God, will fulfill a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. He also lectures and presents workshops on a variety of subjects, always making connections between the topics of today and timeless spiritual insights. ©2009 Edward F. Sylvia, M.T.S. Staircase Press. For more information, visit http://www.staircasepress.com.