Random thoughts on an integrationist viewpoint on Religion and Science
Glyn, I think we have a false dicotomy in your last statement which unfortunately undermines everything above it. I’ll hang almost the entirety of my answer on that one concept.
I’m taking an integrationist approach. Which in some respects bares some resemblance to non-overlapping magisteria.
I don’t know any scientific wisdom which has had the calming or wisdom for the death or dying than the 23 Psalm or any quote from the Bible said during funerals:
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Admittedly, to a staunchly oppositional crowd, this probably won’t go over well–but thats most any crowd which has large negative pre-conceptions about a given ideology.
Second, I’m primarily just setting limits for science in the area of ethics. Or rather reestablishing such limits, as it was David Hume who founded the Is/Ought or Naturalistic fallacy as it came to be known. You can’t derive an ought from an is. The only exception is teleological purpose. For instance, the ethics of slavery has nothing to do with its existence or non-existence.
The only serious or existent scientific questions which have religious base are:
But an integrationist approach solves both. An integrationist approach would likely have secular justifications in addition to the religious, not just religious ones. But more importantly–this proves that an integration isn’t all that difficult (setting politics aside).
No matter what science tells me about:
1) the value of relationships
2) the value of love
3) the value of family
4) the value of forgiveness
It would seem though, that religion and theology–at least in the Christian tradition had a massive edge there in terms of ethics.
And lets not forget evolutions preference for Christian belief. Science just confirms what the Bible said many years before in terms of the value of family, relationships, and cooperation.