Finals week begins tomorrow, I have 3 of them this week, with only one going to be particularly tough. I’ve been averaging a 10 page paper a day most of last week trying to get projects and reports done. Probably the most interesting paper I did was on how science and the Church have worked/and not worked with each other. I didn’t get to go into the detail I wanted to for the simple 10 page paper, but might use it for some kind of masters project (most guys up here get a few degrees at the same time). I’ll probably put more project notes up after the semester is over so that I can explore the idea a bit more; but here are some interesting observations:
- Science and theology should not be viewed as at odds with each other, or a priori opposed to each other. Epistemologically they are both seeking the same thing – truth. Alas, people have not always understood that truths found in how the nature works is also a kind of revelation of the way God manifests himself.
- The difference between science and theology is in their objects. The objects of science is objective, unbiased descriptions of physical processes. The object of theology is the assignment of value and meaning based on understanding the teleology (ends) of objects or actions.
- Science and theology (philosophy+morality) cannot replace the other – but should produce a partnership that mutually informs each other. That process must be a dialog which recognizes the different goals, and limitations, of each branch of study. Science can tell us how to split the atom, but it cannot tell us when it is ok to kill people with it. Theology can give us meaning; but it cannot dictate physical facts (Galileo). Both science and theology get in trouble when they try to do the job of the other – which is when we have had the most trouble in the past.
- Following the progression of epistemology and teleology would be an important thread in this process: Aristotle’s 4 causes (knowledge as including ends) to Enlightenment notion that knowledge does not include ends – bifurcation of theology/science. To post-modern philosophies.
- With a proper view of the ends of each discipline, it would be possible to outline processes and understanding for science and theology to complement and aid each other in a cooperative model of growth in a properly ordered way.
- hmmmm, more ideas!
I’ve gotten my summer assignments and info about where I’ll be next year; but I’ll put that in a separate update. Short version: I’ll be living in Portland this summer.