Eastern morality and Western technique: Issues on natural philosophy of religion

  1. Lemma
  2. Ἀνατολικὴ ἠθικὴ καὶ δυτικὴ τεχνικὴ: Θέματα φυσικῆς φιλοσοφίας τῆς θρησκείας
  3. English
  4. Koutalis, Vangelis
  5. Modes of interaction > Integration - Orthodox theological tradition and practice > Eschatology - Orthodox theological tradition and practice > Premodern _modern_ postmodern - Orthodox Anthropology - Ecology and the environment - Scientific theories and disciplines > Modern physics: Relativity - Scientific theories and disciplines > Modern physics :QM
  6. 26-02-2017
  7. Begzos, Marios [Author]. Eastern morality and Western technique: Issues on natural philosophy of religion
  8. Ἀνατολικὴ ἠθικὴ καὶ δυτικὴ τεχνικὴ: Θέματα φυσικῆς φιλοσοφίας τῆς θρησκείας - Athens: Grigoris Publications, 1993.
  9. morality - intersubjectivity - Orthodox doctrine of the Uncreated and the Created (Άκτιστο-Κτιστό) - cosmology - nuclear threat - eschatology - nuclear physics - quantum mechanics - relativity theory - new technologies - religion and ecology - Modern physics
    1. <p>Begzos, M. P. [Μπέγζος, Μ. Π.] (1993). <em>Ἀνατολικὴ ἠθικὴ καὶ δυτικὴ τεχνικὴ: Θέματα φυσικῆς φιλοαοφίας τῆς θρησκείας</em>. Athens: Grigoris Publications.</p>
    1. A comparison between Orthodox theological morality and modern Western technology is attempted by Begzos in this book. Orthodox morality originates from the pre-Modern, Medieval times and it corresponds to a geopolitical and cultural space different than that in which modern technology was developed. In the West, morality and technology, faith and science were conceived as a pair of parallel, non-communicating lines, in accordance with the Euclidean logic and reflecting the dualistic schemes of natural/supernatural and natural/psychical that dominated the scene in Western theological thought. The author, however, argues that the common denominator of faith and science weighs more than their differences actually do. Historically, science and religion functioned as communicating vessels rather than as mutually exclusive spheres. They both bear, also, serious social and political connotations and as a matter of fact they both traverse the borders between the natural and the so-called ‘supernatural’ or metaphysical. Technique actually influences human morality and has serious effects in the meaning that the relation between God and human beings acquires.

      The historical controversies which set the partisans of science against the proponents of religion, according to Begzos, were, in reality, neither theological nor epistemological, but mostly ideological. In the case of Galilei, for example, what motivated the controversy was the intention of the Roman-Catholic Church to secure its political power and its social influence. As for the controversy over the theory of evolution, the ideological legitimization of the emerging social reality of capitalism and colonialism, through the justification of antagonism, was what rendered the discussion on the work of Darwin so heated.

      Yet, during the 20th century, due to the fact that the promises of technology not only remained unfulfilled, but were eventually reversed to their opposite, becoming threating possibilities for the well-being, the freedom, or even for the survival of human kind, modern technocratic mentality fell into crisis. Totalitarianism, the threat of a nuclear obliteration, the ecological dangers, and the vital moral questions raised by new technologies, gave technological discourse a stark existential aspect. Hence, technology passed from the level of ideology to that of ontology

      On this ontological territory, Orthodox theology may contribute to a productive interaction, which is urgently needed if the historical project for the humanization of humanity is to be sustained and renovated. The Orthodox theological significations of life as relation, of existence as co-existence, of survival as cohabitation, of Logos as dialogue, resonate with the transformations that changed physics in the course of the 20th century, by overthrowing the dualisms of classical physics and shifting the emphasis from objectivity to objectification, from individuality to referentiality, from determinism to causality, from necessity to possibility, and from rationalism to a symbolically expressible and apophatically delimited rational thinking. Under those circumstances, an interaction between Orthodox morality and modern technology and science is not only something attainable, but also something that could engender essential answers to the radical questions faced by humanity today.