Science and faith together: Anyone who knows the incorruptible reality on his side can still believe in God. And whoever believes can at the same time commit to hard knowledge. But you need a well-trained discernment.
If a stone is dropped from five meters, it hits the ground after a second. Anywhere on earth, anytime, whoever drops it; and the measured second agrees with the calculation (root from twice the height of fall above gravitational acceleration). The example stands for all science: it defines terms, carries out experiments and derives laws from them. Faith is not at stake, and doubts about the laws would be doubts about the human mind.
“Force equals mass times acceleration.” What is borrowed at the beginning of middle school is Newton’s brilliant definition of defining resistance to acceleration as a measure of mass, and force as what overcomes this resistance. This inevitably gives Kraft its whimsical dimension (mkg / s 2 ), which sets the curious pupil in hopeless pondering while the average pupil memorises them for the next exam and then forgets them.
Newton’s definitions do not in any way say what mass is or what substance is mass, which would immediately lead to the question of what this substance is made of and so on. The French National Assembly redeemed physics in 1790 by specifying a kilogram of mass as what resists acceleration as much as a liter of water, and that’s it. To this day, physics cannot say more.Since science only reproduces what appears as reality with its own terms, it cannever say what reality is”in itself”.
Since science only reproduces what appears to be reality with its own terms – like a child using sand to rebuild a castle – it can never say what reality is “in itself”. Nobody can do that – in Kant’s razor-sharp articulation: he doesn’t need to know what things are in themselves, “because nothing can ever appear to me other than their appearance”.
As an infant, humans develop the reflex of subordinating events to intentions and purposes. As a child, he noticed “it is snowing so that we can sled” and soon asks why “there is something and not nothing”. The question contains the expectation of an entity that sets ends. However, purpose only enters the universe with DNA, in the case of our planet almost 4 billion years ago. This makes an answer hopeless and “that there is something” is easy to accept. But perhaps the child can be consoled with complete certainty: “Just because there is something, there is also you.”
Evolution of science – Science and faith together
The falcon can precisely calculate the trajectory of a bird it wants to strike without Newton. The corresponding app is stored in his brain, and this is the result of trial and error over millions of years. Analogously, mankind gains its scientific apps through trial and error, but millions of times faster: from the well-thought-out experiment, using sophisticated terms such as mass and strength.
The evolutionary nature of scientific laws inevitably means that they only apply until contradictions arise, such as between Newton’s laws and the so-called constancy of the speed of light, which was measured around 1880. Einstein’s theory of relativity, which resolved the contradiction, did not make Newton’s laws obsolete – even for space travel they are still sufficient. It only expanded it for high speeds, where inertia increases (at the speed of light towards infinity) and forces decrease (at the speed of light to zero).
Limits of science – Science and faith together
Physics can explain everything material in the practical and technical world. But she postulates “dark matter” for the cohesion of galaxies, “dark energy” for the accelerated expansion of the universe, and “gravitation” for gravity, without the slightest suspicion of what these three might be. She still considers herself an unsolved witness to an objective world and is looking for an infinitely small matter bonsai with billions of euros, equipped with all the properties of mature matter (string theories).
Since Stanley Miller’s laboratory experiments in 1953, biology has been able to explain how organic molecules were created on earth, and since 1979, with Manfred Eigen’s hyper cycle, how life works. However, it cannot reconstruct how life originated from the organic molecules; neither does she understand how the brain works, especially what consciousness and free will are.
That can all still be. But if science “knows everything”, does it have the “truth”?
What is truth
A statement is true if it matches a verified fact. The concept of truth abstracts from any concrete case and only refers to the principle of agreement. Whoever claims to seek the truth must state: the truth of what? It is quite different with feelings: They are not statements about something, they are exactly what they are and therefore absolutely true – but only as long as they are not talked over.
Now, as Kant wrote, reason has fate “that it is bothered by questions which it does not reject and also cannot answer ». The all-encompassing question is the deepest meaning of human life. It is not only provided by reason, but even more urgently by the mind, which expects guidance, security and comfort from the answer. “I am the way and the truth and the life” is Jesus’ answer to this.
The true belief
Creeds are about the truth felt in the mind, not the truth. The monk Dionysius Areopagita said around the year 500 that any term that was applied to God was more wrong than right, since it came from the human world of experience, such as God being kind. What the Lateran Council recorded in 1215, as did the German Bishops’ Conference in 1994: «All of our concepts and images that we endeavor for God are only like a beam. In no ‘we have God’. ”For the Swiss theologian Karl Barth, all talking about God was inappropriate because God was“ absolutely transcendent, ”to put it simply: beyond the mind.
Just as unadulterated deep sensation can guide the individual to fulfillment, so verbalizing them can lead collectives astray and catastrophe, to crusades, witch burnings, suicide bombings, religious wars. Conflicts are not sparked by the existential feelings at their origin, but by speech and ritualization of what believers identify with. Friedrich Schiller also advised: “One should make it the most sacred duty not to want to teach the child a concept of God too early. The demand must come from within, and any question that is answered before it is raised is reprehensible. »
Is science enough?
One doesn’t have to understand the world, Einstein wrote, one only has to find one’s way in it. Whether what today’s science offers is sufficient for someone is a question of absorption – you have to know a lot until the mind comes to terms with it. Then it’s a question of mental resilience – Heavenly Father is the warmer source of confidence.
Science cannot give meaning to life, only knowledge that makes it easier for the individual to put meaning into his life, not least: to avoid nonsense. You can make him aware that he is inevitably driven to life, that his happiness comes from life-friendly actions, and that meaning arises as soon as he develops and lives out his abilities, including his ability to love. The philosophy behind it, existentialism, has gone out of fashion. But sooner or later everyone will experience, perhaps even realize, that they can only be realized through their work, not through brooding or mere existence.
The unbeliever craves no less than the believer for guidance, security and consolation, and it also comes to him from beyond the mind: now simply from his unconscious. In his view, this contains the wisdom from the infinite developmental steps of evolution plus – hopefully – the experience of security in growing up. He only has to be careful of what has grounded millions of Buddhists for two and a half thousand years.
Back to top – Science and faith together
Science is in no way a belief – and belief in no way provides knowledge. Science can neither talk people out of belief, nor can belief refute scientific knowledge. Neither gets in each other’s hair if they adhere to their freedom, which is not always the case, but would only be desirable.
There is enough freedom for belief, and “the crucifixion of the mind”, as Kierkegaard felt with a sigh, does not have to be. Only the believer has to be humble with the quintessence of all faith, namely to act in the commandment of love and to feel lifted up in the grace of God. If he refrains from taking “immaculate conception”, “bodily ascension” and the like literally, he does not conflict with irrefutable scientific knowledge or with other believers. He can act correctly even without the fear of not going to heaven otherwise.
The number of those for whom scientific knowledge is sufficient to clarify what they can recognize, how they should act and what they can hope for is growing. Many of them are visibly happy with life, and since they know the incorruptible reality on their side, they cannot be offended or hurt. So the hope is expressed that they will not hurt anyone.
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