These debates result from the exaggerated/obsessive belief on both sides and they are issues addressed by figures such as Kant who unfortunately has been banished from public culture even as the ‘Enlightenment’ is claimed in parody form by secular humanism which has tended to contract into its own cultic narrowness. Almost all the paradoxes of modern science emerge in total ignorance of the antinomies studied by Kant. It is remarkable to watch this slapstick physics comedy of pre-Kantian idiocy. The Big Bang controversy plays out oblivious to the antinomy of Kant, there is no beginning in time, there is a beginning in time.
We can grant the challenges to religion, but note that theism, beliefs in soul, and the assertion of the ‘supernatural’ are three different beliefs and require three separate arguments. It is possible to be an atheist, believe in a ‘soul’ and adopt a revised version of the supernatural. The reason is, in a short take, that the ‘soul’ most likely resides in nature, and that the supernatural usually refers to the some aspect of nature we can’t as such detect. The world of the buddhist with his ‘book of the dead’, granting challenges to its meaning, suggests the life-death is a unity in a larger nature.
This is a warning that the language of religion is often needlessly idiotic in its almost primitive assertion of the existence of metaphysical entities. But almost all those issues can be restated, if not proven, in a more intelligible language.
The strange world of modern physics is a fascinating and an ongoing drama of enquiry but it presumes its ability to be all explanatory, two centuries after the work of figures like Kant who would be dismissed at once by the science cultists who stumble over and over again into the issues he tried to clarity (perhaps without complete success).
The issues raised by Kant are resolved in the context, we might note, of his ‘transcendental idealism’ a subject abjured in scorn by scientists, and barely addressed anymore even by ‘philosophers’ who, like Richard Rorty are the hired guns to eliminate his contributions. That, for me, is not a belief system but a ruthless account of the unavoidable contradictions at the heart of reality and therefore of science.
To me the drama of physics is exciting because it is fresh, and vigorous, but increasingly it seems to be falling into a Kantian oblivion. It is a thorough puzzle scientists can’t seem to consider such an obvious side to their exciting but probably doomed attempt at scientific omniscience. Let us note that in the age of Newton a kind of universal account of nature was proclaimed while with the coming of quantum mechanics, quantume fields, and finally string theory there is no standard anymore by which anyone can proclaim the findings of physics as resolving them. We are stuck and it may or may not be the case science will break out of deadlock, to quote the blind man, we shall see.
In any case, the issue of ‘god’ is too incoherent for any discussion, the question of soul is a lost cause to most religionists whose beliefs betray its real meaning. But its reality in the human context cannot be rejected because of scientific dogmatists, who have never studied the issue. Etc,…
Inexorably most have lost faith in religion, but faith in science is currently on the same path even as its chance of a ‘second wind’ could reanimate its reputation in the context of the unknowable mysteries so far of the quantum world and beyond. It obviously all depends. Is string theory the end of the line. I doubt it, but stand back, to see the reign of still other Kantian antinomies, as physicists stumble blindly through the comedy of their breif reign as arbiters of ‘truth’.
We should also note the reign of Darwinism as a pseudo-science and the inability of the science cadre to extricate itself from confusion over the question of evolution. Scientists like Richard Dawkins have led science as if a pack of lemmings over the cliff of the absurdities of the metaphysical religion of natural selection.
Even though science findings show that reality is queerer than we can suppose, honest thinkers have little choice but to trust science as the only reliable search for believable answers.
Source: Trust Science – CounterPunch.org