Re: [asa] The "Church of Latter Day Scientists" ?

From: Ted Davis <tdavis@messiah.edu>
Date: Fri Dec 01 2006 - 13:42:07 EST

>>> "George Murphy" <gmurphy@raex.com> 12/01/06 12:43 PM >>>writes:
Christians need to be concerned with far more serious threats than a
"Church of Latter Day Scientists." If it ever comes into being it will be
as big a joke as Comte's "Universal Church of the Religion of Humanity."

Ted adds:
George is dead on target, with his point and also his reference to Comte in
this context. Comte's work led directly in the USA in the mid and late 19th
century, to the idea of "the religion of science," the very term in those
very words that Richard Dawkins is now using to describe his own vision. At
least 4 books called "The Religion of Science" were published in the US
between 1860-1925, and it is abundantly clear that they have in mind the
kind of program that Comte described, namely the replacement of traditional
religion with a "religion" based on "science," or at least what Comte
thought "science" to imply (on which, see Dawkins).

Comte was not really very successful, frankly--one doesn't find in every
city a "Church of the Holy Matter." (Though I do sometimes wonder, if I
might make a joke, whether some with a quite different religious agenda want
to erect a "Church of the Bacterial Flagellum.") True enough, one does find
that Comte's agenda is fairly well represented in some actual religious
establishments, such as the ethical culture society or some Buddhist temples
(I think here of one not far from my office, where the spiritual leader
mouths the warfare thesis as part of his creed), and even in some Unitarian
and UCC churches (where traditional Christian beliefs are seen as
"unscientific" and we need a new, more "scientific" set of beliefs to
replace them). But people tend not to flock to these, at least not in the
US.

Ted

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Received on Fri Dec 1 13:42:23 2006

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