Science and Religion (1)

One of the theological points of Pope Benedict’s speech in Regensburg last year was that the Muslim conception of God was flawed because it allowed him complete and unfettered freedom, even from logic:

The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: “For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality.” Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazn went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us.

On Monday, I heard Denis Alexander argue that this same belief, present in Christianity, was one of the foundations of Western science. Newton and his contemporaries argued that is was precisely because God could not be bound by human logic that it was necessary to divine his purposes by experiment. Pure thinking would not do.

I think this is very probably true; but then Ratzinger has never struck me as someone terribly interested in the foxy ways that the world actually is. He wants to know the mind of the cosmic hedgehog.

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One Response to Science and Religion (1)

  1. Stephen says:

    When people say that God is not bound by any logic, why don’t they add that it is therefore impossible for us to know anything valid about God, and therefore that they are talking out of their arses. Or, more precisely, talking into them.

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