Lets begin with the indisputable fact that modern science — especially in the fields of medicine and communication — has been a boon to mankind. But sometimes boon becomes bust when you overplay your hand. I think some of our scientists have. Especially when they start crowding such equally distinguished fields like Religion and the Humanities.
Some of you will think this either uninformed or grudging. I don’t think so.
For about 5000 years, Religion has stood or fallen on its own merits. It lays out its various contentions for a belief-system, then asks you to accept them or not. Now however we are told Religion must stand not on its own merits, but rather on the empirical evidence from scientific disciplines like Geology, Archeology, and History. If a belief-system can’t be verified by these scientific systems [eg. show me just where the Red Sea could have parted! ] then such beliefs no longer warrant our commitment.
The same with the Humanities of literature, drama, art, and music. Lately mathematicians and linguists have taken to dissecting the Humanities in order to explore the many rhythms and codes and subtexts “hidden” in them. Like the Game Theorists who have recently taken to detecting what they call Jane Austen’s theory of gamesmanship in the character of Mr. Darcy in ‘Pride and Prejudice.’
I don’t even want to get into how statisticians have now invaded baseball and how algorithms have invaded politics. My only question is: Why? Why do Religion, Humanities, Sports and Politics now have to pass muster under the trained eyes of our scientific empiricists? Who anointed them for this task?
Call me crazy, but maybe we can do what we’ve always done in a long, tested past. Allow each field of human endeavor to stand or fall on its OWN merits.
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