Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Texas Faith 12: Why should science talk to religion?

Dallas Morning News,
Each week we will post a question to a panel of about two dozen clergy, laity and theologians, all of whom are based in Texas or are from Texas. They will chime in with their responses to the question of the week. And you, readers, will be able to respond to their answers through the comment box.

Scientists Richard Dawkins, Daniel C. Dennett and other prominent atheists have spoken out against other scientists participating in dialogue with religious leaders and believers. Their view is that religion has nothing to teach science, and at best would use the credibility and authority of science to legitimize, in some sense, beliefs Dawkins, et al., consider deeply harmful.

So, here's this week's question of the week for our panelists:

How would you make a case for mutual engagement between science and religion?

NITYANANDA CHANDRA DAS, minister of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), Dallas

Religion without philosophy and logic is sentiment or fanaticism. Philosophy or science, without religion, is mental speculation and therefore cannot reveal metaphysical subjects. Modern science mainly deals with empiric evidence (Pratyakşa) and logic (Anumāna). However metaphysical subjects such as beauty, love, the soul, and God cannot be understood simply empiric and analytical exercises. It is necessary to also access knowledge that is from a metaphysical origin. This knowledge, coming from unadulterated scripture, should be seen in the light of logic and empiric evidence. Scripture should stand the test of logic and reason, otherwise such scripture can be understood to adulterated. For God is the most intelligent being, His words should be the most intelligent and free from philosophical discrepancies. Therefore the scientific method, specifically the involvement of reason, is essential for religion.

Modern science has failed to produce life and gives post-dated checks, stating that they shall create life from dead matter in the future. Intelligence persons should not put their faith in such empty prophecies. Because such subjects cannot be dealt with sufficiently by empiric study and logic, religion, specifically knowledge coming from a metaphysical origin, is essential for science.

Hare Krishna :)
Your humble servant,
Nityananda Chandra Das
To see all the responses from the Texas Faith Panel click here

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