Tuesday, March 02, 2010

To account for knowledge

You are always asking questions, and rarely give answers. It's right, how could I if there were no questions raised? After which anybody could see that at the heart of all political debates is the understanding of religion and science: what science is, and, correlatively, religion.

Let me give an answer: science is
a knowledge capable of accounting for itself.

Everyman, to whatever society he belongs, is convinced to have knowledge of the world he lives in, and accounts for it to the other members of his society. Are we able to do the same and to account for the knowledge of world in a society become planetary?

Well – so runs the average reply in liberal society – we have to distinguish: yes, for science, no, for culture and religion.

The trouble is that such an answer contains a petitio principii: it presupposes that there is a knowledge for which it is already reserved the name of science, while it is precisely the use of such a name that is in question.

We saw a couple of years ago, in occasion of the sentence of a tribunal in Harrisburg Pennsylvania, where this leads to: the demise of any rational discourse, by which knowledge could account for herself. As the sole justification for his sentence, stating that only the most accredited theory of evolution by chance is scientific, while any talk of intelligent design is a matter of religious faith, the judge gave the fact that such is the current use of the two words, science and religion.

It was like saying, on his part: I am competent to judge of a similar question because after all even the experts have no reasons to give, one way or the other.

Because there are no reasons to be given, not just for culture and religion but even for science, so called, all knowledge remains unaccounted for.

If the definition given above is correct, as I think it is, present day Western society appears, in spite of all the boasting for scientific achievements, very poor of real science.

To close, just a hint to further answers: only by turning to the Word made flesh, as the key to a comparative study of culture that includes together science and religion, so called, we can achieve a knowledge capable of accounting for itself.


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