This is our first blog on topics included in or related to our book Under Six Eyes, published by Austin Macauley (AM). The purpose is to extend the conversation on questions of the existence and role of God in the world, and especially to understand the points of conflict and reconciliation between the religious and scientific worldviews. We want readers to participate in this blog via comments, to ask questions and to propose new perspectives.
To begin, each of us will now make a statement that, like the book’s preface, introduces the broad question that propels most of our discussion. (Our short bios are on the AM website, so suffice it to say here that James is a Lutheran pastor and Rob is a professor of mathematics.)
Rob. Science seems so successful in closed explanations that never talk about experience or intent, let alone God. It seems hard to argue with that, but how do we leave experience and design out of the world when our lives seem defined by it? Still, when we wander away from science, we sometimes come to a place that is incoherent and given over more to how we wish the world were, rather than the truth of how it is.
James: The modern technological world is truly marvellous, to the point that we imagine we have surpassed older forms of understanding (like children growing out of old clothes). A knowable world uncoupled from meaning has made alienation the primary by-product (and cultivated expression) of modern culture. I wonder if the incoherence you are describing is not somehow necessary in the world we have made. Religion can certainly become wish-fulfilment, but it can also temper our self-fascination, the mirror of Narcissus that much of our knowing has produced.
A larger statement of this question begins the preface of our book. The entire preface (and more) can be found at a link given on the AM main website.