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The Role of Science, Ethics, and Faith in Modern Philosophy Essay

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The Role of Science, Ethics, and Faith in Modern Philosophy


ABSTRACT: Curiously, in the late twentieth century, even agnostic cosmologists like Stephen Hawking—who is often compared with Einstein—pose metascientific questions concerning a Creator and the cosmos, which science per se is unable to answer. Modern science of the brain, e.g. Roger Penrose's Shadows of the Mind (1994), is only beginning to explore the relationship between the brain and the mind-the physiological and the epistemic. Galileo thought that God's two books-Nature and the Word-cannot be in conflict, since both have a common author: God. This entails, inter alia, that science and faith are to two roads to the Creator-God. David Granby recalls that once upon a time, science and religion were perceived as complementary enterprises, with each scientific advance confirming the grandeur of a Superior Intelligence-God. Are we then at the threshold of a new era of fruitful dialogue between science and religion, one that is mediated by philosophy in the classical sense? In this paper I explore this question in greater detail.

The thesis of this essay is that philosophy is at an important crossroads at the end of the twentieth century in its role as paideia—philosophy educating humanity. An unprecedented challenge and opportunity for philosophy today is to mediate, and enhance understanding of the relationship, between science, ethics and faith. A central question arises: What can philosophy contribute to the emerging dialogue between science and theology? The emerging science-theology dialogue is characterized by complexity and considerable confusion regarding proper methodologies, goals, and possible interactions. There are at least three major schools, model...


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...allacy. Reason (October): 53-58.

Rust, Peter. 1992. How Has Life and Its Diversity Been Produced? Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 44 (2): 80-94.

Sternberg, Robert J. & Janet E. Davidson, eds. 1995. The Nature of Insight. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Weber, Max. 1949. The Methodology of the Social Sciences. Eds. Edward A. Shils & Henry A. Finch. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.

Weinberg, Steven. 1992. Dreams of a Final Theory: The Search for the Fundamental Laws of Nature. New York: Pantheon Books.

Wiester, John L. 1993. The Real Meaning of Evolution. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 45 (3): 182-86.

Wigner, Eugene P. 1960. The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics. Communications on Pure and Applied Mathematics 13: 1-14.

Yates, Steven. 1997. Postmodern Creation Myth? A Response. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies IX (1/2): 91-104.


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