Sunday, June 13, 2010

Again about science

I'll try to be, if I can, less esoteric.

Someone describes to me an experiment he made, e.g. by throwing some objects from the Tower of Pisa. You see, he adds, this proves that… whatever. If you repeat it, and reach the same results, then you'll have to agree with me. And all triumphant concludes: that is science.

Good, I say, I understand. If, by repeating the experience others relate, we prove the same thing, then we have science.

That's right.

I knew it. I followed the way my parents showed me in their model of love story, and I found marital bliss. That why the Gospels recommend to follow Christ' example: to acquire the true science of life.

No, no, no! You got it all wrong. Love stories are literature, the Gospels are religion. They are not science.

Why not? I thought I was only drawing conclusions from what you just approved.

Whatever answer he might give at this point to my question, it would be the equivalent of a blunt "because I say so!".

Or, at least, I so wrote this fictional dialogue, because I haven't heard a different answer yet.



Geremia said...

Indeed, faith "is a kind of knowledge, inasmuch as the intellect is determined by faith to some knowable object" (Summa Theologica Iª q. 12 a. 13 ad 3) and is "evidence of things that appear not" (Heb. 11:1). And theology is indeed a science inasmuch as the other sciences, her handmaidens.

Lazy Disciple said...

You, gentle sir, have been reading the right books! We'll be taking this up in greater detail very soon.

LD (for the HP)

Humbly Presumptuous said...

It is worthy taking note of Pope Benedict's comment of Heb. 11:1 in Spe Salvi. Before being "evidence of things that appear not", faith is substantia rerum sperandarum (substance of things to hope for). When the encyclical came out I thought: now I got it. Faith is the certainty in the depth of ourselves of having been unconditionally loved, that sobstanciates our expectations for a future of love unending, basking things visible with its invisible light. That is a kind of evidence we can appeal to with anybody, because it lies outside of the spurious dichotomy of "believers" and "non believers".
St. Thomas has been almost idolatrized in the Church during the first half of the Twentieth Century. Since the Sixties he has been put somewhat aside, perhaps because of bad teachers that didn't do more than repeat his formulas. It is now time to read him again with fresh eyes, to see how really great he was, while learning to translate him into a vocabulary more consonant with our contemporary ears (something that I think was done by the blessed Antonio Rosmini, a Nineteenth Century saintly Italian philosopher).