The links between Science, Religion and Politics
Religion beliefs (believing) and positive knowledge (knowing) are strictly connected to Politics, but links are not so easily solved.
You can also find strong direct connections between believing and knowing, of course.
Simply put, at any period of history there can’t be a total revolution in one of these three fields (let’s say that of knowledge, such as during the so-called Scientific Revolution) without profound repercussions in the other two. After few centuries of affirmation of the “new science”, it wasn’t possible to believe or to exercise power in the same way any longer.
Nowadays, that is of the utmost importance, since our society is based on science and technology, but it isn’t so easy to convince those who are not accustomed to think outside of rigid and narrow disciplinary schemes. Perhaps it can help to consider some examples from history, that, if properly decoded, can work as gyms to exercise to understand the connections of the current problems.
The topic of understanding, and making to understand, the importance of the study of Science / Theology relationships (or ratio calculans / faith) is a typical interdisciplinary issue which, as such, becomes naturaliter philosophical. Indeed, after the era of the border demarcation of the various sciences, someone says that the exercise of philosophy is possible only in the interstices, in no man’s land. It is not easy to engage people in these reflections, because they feel unprepared and sniff instinctively the abstraction that usually the philosophy professors give to philosophical problems. Let’s try to tell someone: “Tonight we will discuss a philosophical issue” and we will be contemplating empty chairs. But let’s try to put an existential question practically, and we will find ourselves in the midst of a group of noisy persons, eager to exchange ideas that consider very important for their lives; and so we will understand what Antonio Gramsci meant when he said that all men are instinctively philosophers, from Benedetto Croce to the humblest of workers.
On Bioethics, everyone wants to hear and speak, because everyone understands that sooner or later these issues will concern him or her and persons that he or she loves; but too few people seem to understand the importance of learning how to deal Bioethics, based on a correct understanding of what science is actually, what its limitations and its potentials are, how it is inscribed in the general framework of contemporary knowledge, what is its political role and how it contributes to define the themes of citizenship, just as in the case of religious faiths. The interaction between science / faith or science / policy are therefore battle fields for practical / political contest, and they are, indeed, philosophical problems.
The education to the complexity, to beeing able to understand the links between seemingly unrelated issues, it is the duty of the fully conscious groups. They must engage in schools, universities, political parties, religious organizations, social networks, in the media, to sensitize and educate public opinion, today and tomorrow.
Originally published on ilpascaliano.online on February, 2th 2014