ETHICAL ISSUES: EDUCATION, SCIENCE & RELIGION

ETHICS and EDUCATION

The following is allegedly true:

The philosophy professor greets his new class with the statement:   “Let me explain the problem that science has with religion, and asks for a religious volunteer.

“So you’re a Christian, sir?”  The student answers “Yes, sir.”

And you believe in God?    Absolutely.

And that God is all-powerful and can do anything?    Yes. Of course.

Even heal a sick person, or relieve his pain?    Certainly.

Could you then tell me why he did not heal my brother, who died of cancer, even though he prayed to God to heal him?    No. I can’t.

Wouldn’t a good God have heeded his prayer?    I can’t answer for God, sir.

Well, then, is Satan good?    No, sir.

And where does Satan come from?    From God, of course.

So God made Satan, who is evil, then?    Yes.

So God created evil—correct?    No answer.

Well, then, let’s move on.  Science says you use your five senses to identify and observe the world around you.  Have you ever seen God?    No, sir.

Or felt, tasted, smelled or heard God?    No, sir.  I have not.

Yet you still believe in Him.    Yes, I do.

According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, Science says that your God doesn’t exist.  What about that, sir?       I can’t answer for science either, Sir.  I have only my faith.

And that’s the problem science has with God.  There’s no evidence—only faith.  You may sit down.

.   .   .   .   .

But if I may, Professor?  Is there such a thing as heat?    Yes, there is, says the professor.

And cold—is there cold?    Yes.  Cold, too.

Sir, you are wrong.  Cold is simply the absence of heat.  You can have high heat, low heat, but we don’t have anything called ‘cold.’  We can get down to no heat, at 458degrees below zero, but we can’t get colder.  Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat.  It’s not the opposite, just the absence of it.

And darkness, sir.  Is there such a thing as darkness?    Of course.  What’s night if not darkness?

Wrong again, sir.  Darkness is not a thing.  It’s just the absence of light.  You can have low light, bright light, whatever light, but there’s only one darkness, and it’s just the absence of light.  If there were such a thing as darkness, you’d be able to make it darker, wouldn’t you?

I’ll concede the point for now, son, but what point are YOU making?

My point is that your philosophical premise is flawed, so your conclusion must be flawed as well.  You are working on the premise of duality as if it were, pardon the word, gospel.  You say that there’s life and death, a good God and a bad God.  You’re looking at God as something finite, something we can measure and evaluate.  Sir, science can’t even explain thought—it can’t be measured and evaluated.  Science assumes and uses electricity and magnetism but has never fully understood either one.  Or gravity, for that matter.  And death is not the opposite of life.  It’s just the absence of it.  So tell me, do you believe in evolution?     Yes, of course I do.

But have you SEEN it with your own eyes?    No—just the results.

The student then asks the class:  Have any one of you ever seen the professor’s brain?  (Laughter)

Or heard, felt, smelled, or touched it?  (Uproar)

Well, then—according to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science could say he has no brain, and therefore is not qualified to teach us.  How can you expect us to trust your lectures, sir?

Well, I guess, since you’re paying for them, you’ll just have to take them on—faith.

So you accept that there is faith which, in fact, is part of life.  Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?    Of course.  We see it manifested every day in crime and violence.

But I say that evil does not exist, sir—that evil is simply the absence of God, like darkness is the absence of light, and cold the absence of heat, a word to describe the absence of God.  God did not create evil, but He allows it just as He allows us to believe what we will, and even use science as a tool for figuring out His universe.

The student then sat down.  To applause.

Science’s only problem with religion is simply not being able to handle spirituality.

The foregoing story purportedly is about the student Albert Einstein.  I can’t corroborate it, nor do I accept the entire argument(s), but it makes a point.  First, I am not a dualist and do not believe that dualism is necessary in the scheme of life.

Nor do I believe in Satan, or Hell for that matter.  Satan is employed to describe evil which, even according to this story, is the absence of Go(o)d, and Hell is simply the absence of Heaven, which I do not believe is a physical place any more than I believe that God is a physical being.  God is spirit, whatever that may be, and any ‘heaven’ must be a spiritual state.  We are not yet privy to that knowledge (we simply can’t handle it at this time).  Get used to it.

It’s my belief that spirituality is an integral part of man(kind), though it cannot be proven scientifically (because it’s not physical, any more than magnetism or gravity).  Belief is individual—it’s up to YOU, not any institution.  Deal with as you will.

I would truly appreciate your thoughts on the matter.

The following blogs deal with the same subject:

http://www.extremeethics.org/?p=233  

http://www.extremeethics.org/?p=585

http://www.extremeethics.org/?p=632  

http://www.extremeethics.org/?p=721

http://www.extremeethics.org/?p=762  

http://www.extremeethics.org/?p=936

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