Thursday, 27 June 2019

The religion of a scientist

Up to the time of my conversion to Christianity - I was not without religion. And in some ways it was satisfactory, but the ways in which it was not are instructive.

If we analyse the situation in terms of the transcendental qualities of Truth, Beauty and Virtue in Unity; I had the first two.

As a vocational scientist, I was exceptionally devoted to the truth - in small and in large. As a deep appreciator and (somewhat) practitioner of the arts (especially literature and music) I discerned and loved beauty. Indeed, in my life, these two - Truth and Beauty - were substantially unified. For example; I recognised that scientific truth was accompanied, and identified as, beautiful.

But I lacked a proper appreciation of Virtue; and as such was readily manipulated by the Establishment into tracking my understanding of virtue against the imposed trends of modernity.

Furthermore, denying God, I did not have a sense of the Unity of everything in God's creation; and was plagued by a doubt in the reality of purpose and meaning.

Becoming a Christian; I had the great experience of feeling Truth and Beauty being joined with Virtue; locked in a Unity.


Francis Berger said...

I appreciate this simple and straightforward reflection about your views and beliefs via the transcendentals before you became a Christian. I suspect many professed atheists follow some form of 'religion' in their lives - science, art, humanism, some New Age Gaya worldview, or a diluted, non-religious form of Buddhism - and I suspect many sense the same lack of unity you have described here.

However, most erroneously embrace this lack of unity as a positive. Disunity allows for openness, relativism, high-mindedness, and flexibility, all of which are endorsed as virtues. Of course, this creates inevitable conflict as this lack of unity and the relativism it inspires curves back upon itself and assaults whatever contemporary atheists regard as true and beautiful, thereby creating the doubt of which you speak

It's a tragic frame of mind in the end, and it appears to be at the very root of the decay plaguing our societies.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Francis - It was my inability to justify or reject ethical decisions that made me aware of the problem of incompleteness. This challenged my devotion to truth - truth must be Good if it is to be a guiding principle.