More on science and religion, or Stephen Jay Gould’s error

“Our failure to discern a universal good does not record any lack of insight or ingenuity, but merely demonstrates that nature contains no moral messages framed in human terms. Morality is a subject for philosophers, theologians, students of the humanities, indeed for all thinking people. The answers will not be read passively from nature; they do not, and cannot, arise from the data of science. The factual state of the world does not teach us how we, with our powers for good and evil, should alter or preserve it in the most ethical manner.” (Stephen Jay Gould, 1994)

Science and religion don’t need each other

There are two common mistakes. One mistake is to claim that science and religion are in eternal conflict. The other mistake is to claim that science and religion are different but complementary, as if both are needed to achieve a complete sense of truth—as a sort of yin and yang. The second view is particular popular among modern Christians who don’t want to oppose science. But there is a third view: science and religion can ignore each other.

Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and morality

In modernity, the universal validity of the law comes into question. The law is no longer simply God’s law or the monarch’s law or a reflection of Nature; the law is contingent, and it is not the same thing as justice. The law, like religion, is also only one function system among several. Justice is an idea, concept, aspiration, or topic of conversation, but the law is what society actually uses to stabilize normative expectations. Ibsen and Chekhov shared an interest in the question of morality–specifically, how a morality based on social hierarchy, or stratification, cannot survive in a functionally differentiated society.

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