On principles of dialogue between science and theology (from dialogue to methodological unity of paradigms?)

  1. Lemma
  2. О принципах диалога богословия и науки (от диалога к методологическому единству парадигм?)
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Mathematics - History and philosophy of science - Scientific theories and disciplines - Various approaches to the problem of correlation between science and theology
  6. 17-02-2017
  7. Бабич, Владимир Владимирович [Author]. О принципах диалога богословия и науки (от диалога к методологическому единству парадигм?)
  8. Ценности и смыслы
  9. Protestant Church - Catholic Church - protestantism - Scientific method - Scientific progress - eschatology - Pascal, Blaise (1623-1662) - materialism - Russian Orthodox Church - Newton, Isaac (1643-1727) - Descartes, René
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Бабич, Владимир Владимирович (2011). О принципах диалога богословия и науки (от диалога к методологическому единству парадигм?). <em>Ценности и смыслы. </em>Retrieved from: <a href="http://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/o-printsipah-dialoga-bogosloviya-i-nauki-ot-dialoga-k-metodologicheskomu-edinstvu-paradigm">http://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/o-printsipah-dialoga-bogosloviya-i-nauki-ot-dialoga-k-metodologicheskomu-edinstvu-paradigm</a> <br /><br /><br /></p>
    1. The author, V.V. Babich, admits that the participation of the Russian Orthodox Christianity in the dialogue of science and religion is not developed enough, compared to other Christian confessions. This can be explained by the fact that the Russian Orthodox Church has theological differences with Catholicism and Protestantism. The dialogue between the Orthodox Christianity and science started in Russia only in the 18th century and it stopped completely after the Revolution of 1917. Russian Orthodox Christianity never developed its own theological basis nor wanted to change its conceptual theological apparatus after discoveries in science. Another characteristic of the the Russian Orthodox Church is that the question of faith and knowledge was developed by religious philosophers and not by theologians. The Russian Orthodox Church is also characterized by an eschatological perspective in which life after death means more than actual earthly life.

      The author points out that one should see the difference between the scientific method and the scientific mindset. In fact many philosophers believe that Christianity, with its idea that the world had been created by God in accordance with the laws of nature, became the ground for scientific progress. Indeed, the idea implies that it is possible to understand the laws of nature. Francis Bacon (1561-1626) formulated the modern scientific method, which consisted of observation, construction of a model, and experimenting. Isaac Newton (1643-1727) added mathematical calculation to the concept. Babich emphasizes that the belief in the rationality of our world is primordial in the scientific method because it makes the scientist go from observation of facts to creating a hypothesis, a model of a law of nature. Therefore, at first glance, the irrational Christian idea that God had created the world according to rational laws was the necessary basis to formulate the scientific method of acquiring knowledge.

      Babich also points out that both Bacon and Newton were deeply religious people. Rene Descartes (1596-1650) and Newton added the mathematical dimension to the method suggesting that the world is a mathematically conditioned machine and this machine develops progressively. This idea of universal determinism influenced social sciences as well. This idea also made people question if they need God in the equation. If the universe is governed by mathematical laws, then there is no need for God’s will. This made the idea of deism dominate the philosophy of the 18th and 19th century where God was seen as a creator who does not interfere in the work of a mechanism he had created.

      Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) warned that this view was next to atheism. Pascal clearly stated that human rational thinking is limited and that humans can use spirituality to explore the world. Denis Diderot (1713-1784) formulated atheist materialism by the end of the 18th century. Babich argues that the incompatibility of science and religion is illusory because it does not take into account the origin of the scientific method. At the same time he states that it is impossible to have a dialogue between the two if one tries to understand God from a materialistic point of view, treating everything as matter and the rest as non-existence.

      The eschatology of the Church Fathers can help to overcome this problem. They believed that the understanding of the world is only possible with belief in God. For Babich both science and theology contain a unity of teleology of human existence in the universe. According to Russian Orthodox theology, science is destined to see Christ in the end. Knowledge here depends on faith. Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD) used Aristotle’s method of syllogism. The method consisted of formulating premises that would lead to a conclusion through logical reasoning. Thus faith for Church Fathers is the hypostasis of Logos - the order, and therefore God. It is however only the personality itself that can realize God’s laws. Personality is seen not as a synthesis of different parts but a unity that holds human existence. This personality can reveal itself only in interaction with God the creator.

      In short, the first premise is that all has a beginning in God. Then humans are born in a world, this world, which had already been created. Humans can realize the creation in their personalities. This conclusion helps to overcome the simplistic empirical approach in science that would state that a scientist could be replaced by another person who has the same level of education, as in fact scientific experience is always a personal existential experience. In other words, science does not exist without actual people who do it.