Back to Index

Religion and science



Jim Bowman says about the Conflict between Science and Religion:

"There should not have been any conflict; it was caused not by science, but by religion, when the Church could not reconcile the literal statements of Scripture (for example in the battle of Gibeon where the sun and moon "stood still.") with the Copernican proposals. It is unfortunate that the centralized truth-emitting mechanism of the Church decided for the illiterate masses that Science was therefore an enemy, a belief that exists to this day in many hyper-conservative circles. The conflict continues because many clergy and lay Christians think they are scientists, and scientists think they are philosophers. I can't decide between the two, which puts out the most idiotic books.

For the person who wishes to reconcile the metaphysical and the visible world, a must-read is Blaise Pascal's Pensées (written 1658-62). For example, Pascal muses that God is half-hidden because if he were fully revealed, mankind would be forced to bow; God is half-revealed, so that those who wish can find him. His point is that proof of God's existence or of his non-existence is impossible. One always ends up with a belief-system".

About Good Friday, Jim says:

"Having spent half my adult life in the Bay Area, I am not surprised that the Chronicle ignored Good Friday. San Francisco prides itself in its open-mindedness. Many people have come to San Francisco to enjoy acceptance of lifestyles not tolerated in other places. Unfortunately, this environment breeds a hypocritical hostility toward exclusivistic viewpoints as represented by orthodox Christian religion. This would be a more plausible reason why Good Friday is subconsciously or evenurposely marginalized. Pluralism and tolerance require us to accept the people who hold other views, and to listen respectfully to them, but do not require us to accept their views as valid. A truly open minded and inclusivistic San Francisco should give equal space to all views, even exclusivistic ones.

Ronald Hilton - 4/19/03


Webmaster