Monday, April 30, 2012

Love and Intelligence, Faith and Reason

Last week's post started with this excerpt:
"...Charity does not exclude knowledge, but rather requires, promotes, and animates it from within...."
("Caritas in Veritate," 30)
I liked the metaphor in that section of Caritas in Veritate, about wisdom seasoning knowledge with the salt of charity.

Two more excerpts, and I'll move on to the next section:
"...Deeds without knowledge are blind, and knowledge without love is sterile...."

"...Human knowledge is insufficient and the conclusions of science cannot indicate by themselves the path towards integral human development. There is always a need to push further ahead: this is what is required by charity in truth[76] Going beyond, however, never means prescinding from the conclusions of reason, nor contradicting its results. Intelligence and love are not in separate compartments: love is rich in intelligence and intelligence is full of love."
("Caritas in Veritate," 30)

"Love is Rich in Intelligence" - "Intelligence is Full of Love"

I thought recapping last week's post made sense, since section 31 of Caritas in Veritate continues the ideas discussed in section 30:
"This means that moral evaluation and scientific research must go hand in hand, and that charity must animate them in a harmonious interdisciplinary whole, marked by unity and distinction. The Church's social doctrine, which has 'an important interdisciplinary dimension'[77], can exercise, in this perspective, a function of extraordinary effectiveness. It allows faith, theology, metaphysics and science to come together in a collaborative effort in the service of humanity...."
("Caritas in Veritate," 31)
Faith and reason, science and religion, get along just fine. Or, rather, they should. I've said this before. A lot:
  • Faith and science are compatible
    (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 159)
  • Science and technology
    • Can help people
      • Provided ethics are not violated
        (Catechism, 2292-2294)
    • Scientific medical research is a good idea
      (Catechism, 2292-2296)
  • Health care
    • Concern for health is a good idea
      (Catechism, 2288-2291)
      • Within reason
        (Catechism, 2289)
    • Organ transplants are okay
      • Breaking down a living person for parts is wrong
        • Even if it helps someone else
      (Catechism, 2296)
    (March 5, 2012)
If science and religion are compatible, why do so many folks think they're not? A scientist from the Vatican Observatory said that it's a fairly recent idea, and a crazy one. I've posted about the Victorian-era snit before. (March 20, 2009)

"Recent" is in the eye of the beholder: Brother Guy Consolmagno said "the 'crazy idea' that science and religion conflict" dates back to around the middle of the 19th century. (March 14, 2012) For me, that's 'recent.' But I'm interested in ancient history and cosmology, among other things, so my timescale may be a little different from yours.

Benedict XVI comes at the (unnecessary) discord between religion and science from a different angle, pointing out how it affects more than just Bible thumpers and wackadoo secularists. Not that the Pope used those terms:
"...The excessive segmentation of knowledge[80], the rejection of metaphysics by the human sciences[81], the difficulties encountered by dialogue between science and theology are damaging not only to the development of knowledge, but also to the development of peoples...."
("Caritas in Veritate," 31)

Conscience, Science, and the Golden Rule

The Catechism of the Catholic Church discusses respect for the person and scientific research. (Catechism, 2292-2296) What the Church says might be frustrating to folks who'd like to be "beyond good and evil:" Nietzsche and all that. (March 9, 2012)

What the Catechism says about scientific research is, as far as I can tell, a matter of pointing out that rules about moral choice apply to science and technology. That's covered in a section about conscience:
"Some rules apply in every case:
  • "One may never do evil so that good may result from it;
  • "the Golden Rule: 'Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.'56
  • "charity always proceeds by way of respect for one's neighbor and his conscience: 'Thus sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience . . . you sin against Christ.57 Therefore 'it is right not to . . . do anything that makes your brother stumble.'58"
(Catechism, 1789)
'Don't do evil so that good may follow.' 'Do to others what you'd like them to do to you.' It doesn't sound complicated. I don't think ethics is, really. Not when folks bother to look at the basics.

I think the Vatican archives take up about 85 kilometers of shelf space, at last count, in large part because folks have been trying to weasel out of simple principles for two millennia. More. (Job 5:7) And that's another topic.

"Obedient to the Truth"

I don't see a conflict between faith and reason, religion and science. But then, I converted to Catholicism partly because once I started learning about the Church: what they said made sense. I didn't like everything I read: but I couldn't deny the logic. More topics.

We live in an era that's been changing: fast. Computers were the stuff of science fiction when I was growing up. Today a computer manages the family minivan's engine, and I spend hours a day at a computer's keyboard.

I remember when permanent press was still a new wrinkle in fabrics technology. The NDSU Plant Diagnostic Lab has a Facebook page. you get the idea.

I don't see having clothes that don't need ironing as a problem: and I certainly don't think disease-resistant crops are a bad thing. But I don't think that science and technology are a 'values-free' zone, either.

It's like Benedict XVI said:
"...The scientific ethos, moreover, is - as you yourself mentioned, Magnificent Rector - the will to be obedient to the truth, and, as such, it embodies an attitude which belongs to the essential decisions of the Christian spirit. The intention here is not one of retrenchment or negative criticism, but of broadening our concept of reason and its application...."
("Address at the University of Regensburg," Benedict XVI (September 12, 2006))

More posts about "Caritas in Veritate" (Charity in Truth)
"Caritas in Veritate"

Related posts:
  • "Address at the University of Regensburg"
    (Meeting with the representatives of science in the Aula Magna of the University of Regensburg)
    Pope Benedict XVI (September 12, 2006)
  • "Fides et Ratio," Chapter VII - Current Requirements and Tasks
    Pope John Paul II (English translation) (September 14, 1998)
  • "Centesimus Annus"
    Pope John Paul II (English translation) (May 1, 1991)
  • "Populorum Progressio"
    Encyclical of Pope Paul VI on the Development of Peoples (March 26, 1967)

No comments:

Like it? Pin it, Plus it, - - -

Pinterest: My Stuff, and More


Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store

Popular Posts

Label Cloud

1277 abortion ADD ADHD-Inattentive Adoration Chapel Advent Afghanistan Africa America Amoris Laetitia angels animals annulment Annunciation anti-catholicism Antichrist apocalyptic ideas apparitions archaeology architecture Arianism art Asperger syndrome assumptions asteroid astronomy Australia authority balance and moderation baptism being Catholic beliefs bias Bible Bible and Catechism bioethics biology blogs brain Brazil business Canada capital punishment Caritas in Veritate Catechism Catholic Church Catholic counter-culture Catholicism change happens charisms charity Chile China Christianity Christmas citizenship climate change climatology cloning comets common good common sense Communion community compassion confirmation conscience conversion Corpus Christi cosmology creation credibility crime crucifix Crucifixion Cuba culture dance dark night of the soul death depression designer babies despair detachment devotion discipline disease diversity divination Divine Mercy divorce Docetism domestic church dualism duty Easter economics education elections emotions England entertainment environmental issues Epiphany Establishment Clause ethics ethnicity Eucharist eugenics Europe evangelizing evolution exobiology exoplanets exorcism extremophiles faith faith and works family Father's Day Faust Faustus fear of the Lord fiction Final Judgment First Amendment forgiveness Fortnight For Freedom free will freedom fun genetics genocide geoengineering geology getting a grip global Gnosticism God God's will good judgment government gratitude great commission guest post guilt Haiti Halloween happiness hate health Heaven Hell HHS hierarchy history holidays Holy Family Holy See Holy Spirit holy water home schooling hope humility humor hypocrisy idolatry image of God images Immaculate Conception immigrants in the news Incarnation Independence Day India information technology Internet Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Japan Jesus John Paul II joy just war justice Kansas Kenya Knights of Columbus knowledge Korea language Last Judgment last things law learning Lent Lenten Chaplet life issues love magi magic Magisterium Manichaeism marriage martyrs Mary Mass materialism media medicine meditation Memorial Day mercy meteor meteorology Mexico Minnesota miracles Missouri moderation modesty Monophysitism Mother Teresa of Calcutta Mother's Day movies music Muslims myth natural law neighbor Nestorianism New Year's Eve New Zealand news Nietzsche obedience Oceania organization original sin paleontology parish Parousia penance penitence Pentecost Philippines physical disability physics pilgrimage politics Pope Pope in Germany 2011 population growth positive law poverty prayer predestination presumption pride priests prophets prostitution Providence Purgatory purpose quantum entanglement quotes reason redemption reflections relics religion religious freedom repentance Resurrection robots Roman Missal Third Edition rosaries rules sacramentals Sacraments Saints salvation schools science secondary causes SETI sex shrines sin slavery social justice solar planets soul South Sudan space aliens space exploration Spain spirituality stem cell research stereotypes stewardship stories storm Sudan suicide Sunday obligation superstition symbols technology temptation terraforming the establishment the human condition tolerance Tradition traffic Transfiguration Transubstantiation travel Trinity trust truth uncertainty United Kingdom universal destination of goods vacation Vatican Vatican II veneration vengeance Veterans Day videos virtue vlog vocations voting war warp drive theory wealth weather wisdom within reason work worship writing

Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.