(Natural) Science and the Belief in God.
with excerpts from the main text, and additions.
The legitimacy of the Scientists' way to God.
Jesus accepted that there are people who need to monitor, count, measure and weigh, in order to answer questions of faith, as in the case of Thomas, who represents "the scientist type " among the disciples and portrays many people of our time. When he had the opportunity to test whether in fact Jesus Christ was standing in front of him, Jesus said: "Be not unbelieving, but faithful". This meant that Thomas was supposed to apply his new experience by pondering honestly and deeply, so that the root of his doubt disappeared and the truth dawned on him. The fact that Jesus still had to say this afterwards, did not mean that Thomas was a sceptic, now "slain" by the external reality and "forced to believe", even through fear of punishment. It did, however, mean that Thomas had still kept his ability to reach new convictions autonomously. This way of dealing with facts and thoughts is not condemned here, as misunderstood by some interpreters because of lacking knowledge about human consciousness. In spite of that, Thomas was wanted to learn that there are other ways of arriving at a conviction, even without considering the physical facts. Jesus knew what was adequate for Thomas. He did not want to force anybody. That would have been too much like a court and there is obviously no intention to provoke anyone into refusing something he was not ready to decide about.
A science which ignores frequent experiences when something does not fit into the old theory is not worthy of the name. A true genius like Einstein did not "administer knowledge", but started with open questions. He often searched with the same intensity for old theories which may meet the new observations (reductionism), and for new possibilities. This search can be one of the many ways to God too - as long as the motive is honest and the science is not corrupted by economical or other problematic interests.
The external work of scientists - observation, hypothesis, theory and
verification - is in most cases insufficient as the only method, when humane
disciplines and questions of religion are explored. There is not always a being
on the spot who indubitably or even reproducibly represents a higher
reality (as the disciples of Jesus experienced it); or who opens our
eyes for it (as mentioned in John 1, 51). Nevertheless there are many
indications of "layers" within the human being and beyond it, which
don't originate in the known spectrum of substances and forces, but which
manifest themselves there only in their effects. The energy of life, the
activities of the psyche/the mind and consciousness... ( Some examples at
several places in the main text of ways.of-christ.net). Often
"pre-scientific" traditions of various old cultures reveal some
empiricism and scientific character. Today it is also possible to develop
adequate methods of perception and evaluation, as Goethe's scientific
considerations show. There is also epistemology (theory of cognition) for
science, which R. Steiner built up on Goethe's preparations. New scientific
approaches like quantum physics and quantum biology, new astrophysics and
finally the development of a new "paradigm" or world view have the
same tendency; but in most cases without the search for adapted new methods for
the new contents like Steiner's.
So, we know that the present scientific knowledge a) shows only a tiny part of reality;
b) the basics of science have become increasingly relative. Matter can be looked upon as compressed energy - or even as condensed spirit. Forms of energy can take on a speed above the velocity of light up to infinite ("tachyons"...). These particles can become "younger". Time becomes even more relative than it was in the theory of relativity. These particles can leave our space this way and appear again from something like the beyond/the transcendence - so even space is less absolute than it had appeared to be in the theory of the "curvature of space". The "information" left (a concept in cybernetics) is not tangible, without matter and energy, and therefore cannot be described with old methods. One could name it "consciousness".
c.) So far, this breakdown of the old world view, to be exact, would not yet be a "proof of the existence of God", but at best a preparation. Some people find this to be enough, because they were only blocked by the out-dated materialistic view and can now take further steps to God more directly. But - look at that! It continues. What is that "information" or the other processes in the universe (b.)? What/ who continuously creates new matter and energy and erases it again? What/who regulates in matter and in human life the thresholds between life and death and the transition between - and equally between being awake and sleep? What/who is perpetually having effects on the universe outside of time and space and the reverse? Is the human being - capable of experiencing energy, time, and space in his consciousness like being "outside" - indeed a nascent image of One who can do this on a large scale (compare Genesis 1,26)?
d.) Above all, chaos and accident are ruled out. This world, living beings, and, particles and processes in life show a high degree of order within the chaos beyond any possibility of mere accident. The determination and meaning within the whole is like a synthesis of the arts and the connecting links which would be necessary for an accidental evolution are lacking. . This insight alone makes it more difficult to not believe than to believe - in a central original intelligent being, who determines the beginning and the end of a "creation program" and who designs the changing regularities. So it became possible that analytical thoughts can lead to the same result as the "right, mythical hemisphere" (of the brain) of the old peoples before around 800 BC, who found God to be the worker. The "gods" of some peoples were originally only qualities of the one God too and only when this wisdom got lost were they taken for independent "gods" and even confused with highly developed human beings who also existed.) Similar ways have led non-believing scientists like Max Thürkauf, Georg Todoroff, and others to faith.
e.) Finally faith, as a deep conviction, is more than just intellectually believing something.
f.) Moreover, other people are also relevant who – not only as mystics, etc., but as simple faithful persons too - have testified transforming experiences with God and with Christ and who, in this context, had real experiences with the creative divine Spirit within themselves. These ways can also lead to a fully independent kind of understanding and to insights concerning the nature of their experiences. This is where the viewpoints of the main text of "ways-of-christ.net" set in.
In 1998, the Catholic Church issued the encyclical "Fides et Ratio" (Faith and Reason) and Pope Benedict XVI also stressed the topic in a speech in 2006 at Regensburg in the following way: "Belief without reason and reason without belief are worth nothing, because man in his wholeness is missed". Michael Springer writes in "Spektrum der Wissenschaft" ("American Science", German issue) in January 2007, that not every missing piece of knowledge refers automatically to things that cannot be explained scientifically, or to God. This is not, by the way, our intention, but for exact conclusions, see above. He admits that the opinion that science will some day be able to fill the 'gaps' is a belief too. In this case, a lot of effort was obviously necessary to leave the question open as to whether scientists are forced to believe in God. This may not be an atheistic ideology, but rather an agnostic one, implying a missing faith without the specified doctrine that there is no God. And another new concept which only recognised belief in God as providing ethical validation of a material culture, is, in itself, insufficient to meet the above-mentioned criteria.
topics and main text.