Thursday, July 06, 2006

Theistic Science

Materialism is a matter of faith, science is not- not in the sense of merely being investigation of material causes. I recognize material causes like materialsts do but this is not a belief that originated with materialism but already within the theist worldview, from which science sprang. The theist worldview recognizes material causality and also has a clarified and reasonable standpoint from which to view it. There is no necessity to be a materialist in order to do and recognize science nevertheless one finds an ubiquitous conflation of clearminded material investigation with, in my view, imbalanced materialism that incautiously forgoes altogether the kind of self-examination Socrates memorably urged, disparaging the obvious knowledge attainable in it through disciplined and noble as altogether nothing but "navel-gazing". Christian theism understands and embraces what is good in both material investigation and self-knowledge (and knowledge of other minds) instead of charging with the bandwagon into "the wasteland". Many valuably see great unifying potential, and some more keenly than others, in science and material investigation. I see this unifying power essentially unassailed in a clarifying theism, which provides a "maximum of differentiation" that materialism fails to attain.
An individual recently wrote to me saying, "The fact that 'mind' cannot be demonstrated leads us to the possibly incomplete explanations defined by science and its inability to deal with your concept 'mind'. " I think this point is over the beating heart of the modern problem. In fact we cannot explain anything except from a starting point that takes the mind's existence for granted. In every act of explanation or rationalization the mind is already there. The mischaracterization of knowledge and learning shared by both Kant and Hume which minimalizes knowledge by not dealing with the presence of the mind already implicit in every moment of perception seems to be the web we are caught on.

Science hit a brick wall with the Big Bang. But the framing of the question seems key to me. Science has worked off the assumption of the mind. It has to to act. Nietzsche laments this when he writes:

"[Unbelieving philosophers of late modernity] are far from being free spirits for they still have a faith in truth... It is still a metaphysical faith that underlies our faith in science- and we men of knowledge today, we godless men and anti-metaphysicians, we, too, still derive our flame from the fire ignited by faith a millenia old, the Christian faith, which was also Plato's, that God is truth, that truth is divine."-in "Genealogy of Morals."
How is a cultivated ignorance of the starting point we take for granted, by an axiomatical denial of knowledge outside the sequential Method artificially imposed, in the end, promising of knowledge of ourselves superior for instance to that reached by the Greeks, or to the great geniuses of the world of all the different nations? The supposition that those who study neurobiology are likely to attain greater self-knowledge than those who read the classics that many of them look down on from a supposedly epistemologically sacrosanct perspective, appears, with a little reflection, preposterous. In fact materialism makes natural sciences into an impostor and despoiler of human self-knowledge by setting up an unholy caste system of concocted epistemology, but a clarified theism avoids this by understanding material investigation and also the inviolate mind.

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