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

From: George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com>
Date: Fri Dec 01 2006 - 16:08:36 EST

Of course almost anything in creation can be the subject of a religion in the basic sense of "ultimate concern" - the point that Paul makes in Romans 1. Science is among those possible religions, as the examples of people like Dawkins make clear. What was ludicrous about Comte's attempt, like the proposal of Porco, is the attempt to ape the structures & rituals of Christianity with hymns, ersatz baptism &c.

Shalom
George
http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: David Opderbeck
  To: Ted Davis
  Cc: asa@calvin.edu ; Janice Matchett ; gmurphy@raex.com
  Sent: Friday, December 01, 2006 2:36 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] The "Church of Latter Day Scientists" ?

  Comte was not really very successful, frankly--one doesn't find in every
  city a "Church of the Holy Matter."
   
  But you do, Ted, only we call them "universities" rather than "churches." I know a sentence like that sounds like some sort of knee-jerk religious right sentiment, but it really isn't -- it's exactly the sort of thing someone like Milbank would say. I'd suggest the project of establishing a secular religion based on "science" is succeeding splendidly.

   
  On 12/1/06, Ted Davis <tdavis@messiah.edu> wrote:
>>> "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

    To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
    "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.

  --
  David W. Opderbeck
  Web: http://www.davidopderbeck.com
  Blog: http://www.davidopderbeck.com/throughaglass.html
  MySpace (Music): http://www.myspace.com/davidbecke

To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Fri Dec 1 16:09:24 2006

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Dec 01 2006 - 16:09:24 EST