how do we escape ...

From: george murphy (
Date: Wed Oct 10 2001 - 10:22:57 EDT

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    Jonathan Clarke wrote:

    > There is always one :-)

    > I am not expert on post modernism (is anyone?) so offer the following
    thoughts very tentatively.

    > The modernists and post modernists raise different problems and have
    different congruencies
    > with Christian philosophies. I agree that the commitment to
    objective truth is in favour of the
    > modernists, however the doctrinaire reductionism and materialism
    stands against the.
    > Conversely, while the
    > post moderns are sceptical about objective truth they are not
    reductionists and recognize that
    > meaning can occur at many levels. In this regard they seem superior
    to the moderns. Again I am
    > no expert on post modernism (the very term sets my teeth on edge!),
    but there seem to be
    > strands within
    > it which are quite amenable to Christian thought. Nancey Murphy
    seems quite positive about
    > post modernism, something I am working though.

           Modernism (M) limits the kinds of claims that may be true, while
    post-modernism (PM) is
    open to all kinds of truth claims. (Of course I'm painting with a very
    broad brush.) Thus PM is
    open to the possibility that Christianity is true & may freely admit
    that it's true - for Christians. But
    the same can be said for all kinds of other belief systems. For PM
    Christianity can't be true in the
    sense that it has historically claimed to be, as a meta-narrative,
    because for PM there are no
    meta-narratives. OTOH the M view of the world (the emphasis is
    important) can be seen as a true
    though incomplete understanding of creation within the context of the
    Christian meta-narrative.
            But it's not only for religious belief that this issue is
    important. Although some scientists may
    identify themselves as PMs, I don't see how any serious scientist can
    concede that the views of the
    flat earth society or animism, e.g., give as good an understanding of
    the world as does science. As
    John Barrow said, "Almost all scientists are realists - at least during
    working hours."
            Having said that, we should recognize that religious beliefs and
    scientific theories are to some
    extent conditioned by culture - economics, gender, &c. But to recognize
    that & try to correct for
    cultural biases is quite different from saying that religions &
    scientific theories can be reduced
    exhaustively to cultural factors.



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

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