In any theological belief, science has always been equated as fundamentally taking root on faith which includes a world view as its prerequisite.
Understanding this world view requires a kind of “faith” in itself to believe beyond the objective view of nature. Where people need something to believe in with which to test their theory, Einstein likewise made his own in 1915 which took him four years to prove his prediction.The time element Einstein spent for discovery to prove his hypothesis is in fact an act of faith that works to put an element of rationality on his theory. Human nature dwells on goals and purposes in life in an effort to hold on to a certain belief.
Einstein’s scientific perspective is nil unless his purpose for discovery is established which alone requires faith in his purpose to prove an assumption.Perhaps this cannot prove the existence of a supernatural being or a God to show that an assumption is not working well because science likes to use evidence to prove facts yet the act of trying to gather, analyze and reproduce a chain of reasoning in order to understand that science requires in principle and in practice enough faith to honestly think long and deeply and push forward with the study. This paper now aims to use how science can possibly take root in religion and how religion uses science to present an analysis of happenings. Using Barbour’s Models, we will seek to present the logic behind Hans’ collection of essays.
In Jonas’ introductory essay, theology in the context of Jewish thought relates an experience during the Holocaust times which is seemingly been retold as part of Jewish 20th century history (1996, 30-35). It is Jonas’ thinking as a Jew in response to the Holocaust where writings suggest that the Jewish views and philosophy is complex and deeply marked by true events that marked their existence. For him, the intrinsic limits of divine agency are relative to the affairs of the world while asserting in principle the godlessness of Darwin’s notion as an evolutionary process that resulted to the elimination of the weak in the struggle to survive.Darwinism in fact encouraged views on race and war which the Nazis sought to embrace. Had the party believed that humankind descended from Adam and Eve and therefore stand as equals before God as taught in the biblical scriptures; Hans’ believes that the Holocaust would never have occurred (30-35).
The assertion that Darwinism and evolution is godless would be a fitting to claim that science and religion are two adversarial positions that are incompatible.In using Barbour’s models (1976), we will be able to gain a profound understanding on Hans’ assertions how a relationship would exist between religion and science. Albeit clear, conflict is used in the introductory phases of Hans’ book where science is used to explain the discipline behind the Nazi master-minding of the Holocaust experience. Darwin’s scientific notion rubbed off on Hitler who believed that humans were animals that could be subjected to genetic laws and experimental breeding in order to control evolution and advance the human race (Edelheit and Edelheit, 1991:7).
The Nazis believed that they were simply applying facts, proven by science, to produce a superior race of humans as a plan for a better world thereby using politics as applied biology (Stein, 1988:51). This is what Hans and other authors sought to explain the action behind Nazi actions and the Holocaust. Such claims however will only lead to the use of Barbour’s exact opposite model of “dialogue” because it is point-clear that in this aspect, religion uses science to strengthen the explanation behind the Jewish history of the Holocaust to continue with its fact-finding.Fundamentalist theories would advocate scientific evolution as an attempt to manipulate the human mind and warn men of idolatrous faith while injecting too much science in morality to make moral choices beneficial to mankind (Zinser, 2003:8). Science therefore gives the hints on the choice that people makes but differentiates itself from the moral choice where in the Holocaust history, the moral choice of an action to eliminate the Jews was used as the Nazi justification.Such proves how science cannot guarantee morality or make people act and make moral choices.
It can however spare the moralist from making obvious mistakes without scientific basis. Nazism thereby used the scientific basis of Darwinism to impose reason for their actions. Jonas (1996) points out in Tool, Image, and Grave… how man is distinguished in three ways from animals where only man designs tools to achieve particular purposes. Man has the capacity to create physical images and recall past events and contemplate future possibilities.
Man as well looks at the future, buries his dead moved by a lifeless form to look forward to something beyond the physical universe which employs a form of metaphysics to explain life beyond the ultimately explainable. “Life says yes to itself” because life maintains itself by continued metabolism (p. 36) where Jonas also thinks that freedom has to do with the organism and the physical body is the primary feature of the organism that allows us to understand its secret.In Barbour’s typology and model of dialogue Jonas’ thought presents the narrow range of scientific theories existing between science and religion (Stahl, 2002: 6). Where the interior organism needs a continuous modicum of exchange with the exterior world, life is allowed as an adventure threatened by the possibility of death that Jonas’ likewise insists in his “The Burden and Blessing of Mortality” which and tries to insist that death is both painful and a mercy to us mortals yet actually a blessing in his sense.
Jonas’ philosophy of life is really interesting albeit queer in some aspects where life extension is deemed problematic as man lives without the past memories or living only in the past (p. 40). For him, youth with its fumbling and follies, its eagerness and questioning is the eternal hope of mankind (p. 39). Yet he is not very clear why mortality is a blessing for mankind, but I feel that death appears a better choice for people experiencing a continued miserable life.For science, his ideas bring to light the bio-ethical aspect and question of prolonging life and the practice of euthanasia.
In the age where life extension is an unresolved issue amidst the search for an eternal youth, Jonas provides the exact opposite by finding death, or suicide, without despair or pain within his meaning. Given man’s desire for immortality, Jonas believes that man is denied the knowledge of immortality, even on availability of modern science so man can appreciate life.In Jonas personal tribute to a man he regarded with respect in Rudolf Bultman (144-164), the essay which he used in a memorial lecture to show how a naturalistic metaphysics respects the casually determined order of the natural world that has left space for theology of divine presence despite the radical contradiction between science and religion (p. 146). He does not view the natural laws to be in contradiction with divine intervention where God’s transcendence became an absent factor during the extermination of Jews (Stahl, 2006: 18).Ultimately, this fact provides in consequence how freedom is the predominant characteristic of life where God’s respect for his creatures is in terms of a withdrawal of the divine being.
By way of Jonas’ philosophy in the interest of theology in an indirect manner, a sense of skepticism can be gleaned with an idea that traditional answers no longer apply to the question of God. In the Shoah where God has visited the disloyal people of the covenant, Jonas believes that such is of no more help to God’s people where martyr-piety is no longer of any use (Bemporad, Pawlikowski and Sievers, 2000: 189).Not a trace of human nobility was left to those who were destined to undergo the “final solution,” not a trace of it was recognizable in the figures of those ghostly skeletons who survived long enough to see the camp liberated” (p. 12). For Jews, God is the guardian and Lord of history yet to the Jewish believers, Auschwitz questions how no miraculous rescue happened and God just kept silent. However, Jonas insists that the “miracles” that occurred in Auschwitz were the handiwork of human beings and of the “righteous among the nations” who did not shun even the ultimate sacrifice (p.
46-48).The question of God and the happening at Auschwitz and of the misdeeds that humans perpetrated on humankind has provoked in Jonas that traditional answers of God do not apply anymore where science has breached human thought and man experiment with his philosophies and base his actions on his scientific finding (Bemporad, Pawlikowski and Sievers, 2000: 142). The notion that God is the “Lord of History” is deemed baseless in Jonas’ creed and such belief for him will have to be dismissed.God’s fate after Auschwitz views transcendence in the contemporary world, as that which is accompanied by human actions with baited breath, hoping and wooing, rejoicing and sorrowing, with satisfaction and disappointment as a self-conceived myth (Edelheit and Edelheit, 1991:10). Jonas’ myth has originality where expression is based on imagery. The idea of a suffering God contradicts with his notions of the “divine majesty” where Hebrew Bible is described the grief and remorse God experiences with regard to his chosen people in the tenets of Jewish fate.
In the problem of Auschwitz, God was however in no position to exert power or was a power without resistance, and hence without power thus relinquishing the notion of omnipotence. Jonas’ myth for challenges God’s kindness tested in the face of Auschwitz in relation to an understanding of God anchored on the Jewish tradition of “a deus absconditus” or a hidden God which raises controversies within Jewish thought and Jewish faith that contrasts many authors (Bemporad, Pawlikowski and Sievers, 2000:62).Jonas however welcomes a discourse within this modern problem where he deviates from ancient Jewish teachings and indicates closeness to Christian theology where the classical idea of God is at a critical stage in Christian understanding. Traditional views had seen God as compassionate in the role evolving from the creation in terms of Jewish and Christian teachings. God is seen as extending an outstretched arm on the impact of mundane events based on Christian theology.
Yet in the events at Auschwitz, Jonas presents that God’s response summons man’s ethical response and not merely to exercise a latent power where other forces interfered. Where no miracle rescue happened for the Jews, the events that occurred were the acts of individuals often unknown “righteous among the nations” who did not shun even the ultimate sacrifice (p. 41). Finally, in light of Jonas’ contributions, his concept presents a powerless God that did not sympathize with the defenseless people in Auschwitz.
In the aspect of science in similarity to the aspect of faith where both embraces doubt and attempt to share experiences and recruit believers and non-believers in its realm catapulting the views of segregation in Darwinism based on logic and experimentation. Faith speaks to science in the form of placing reality and believing in your capacity to perceive and measure and such was used by believers of social Darwinism. God’s power may not have interfered physically costing the lives of many Jewish and non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust which created Jonas’ question of theodicy.In his modern philosophy God’s limitations is shown in the brute reality of evil as shown in Auschwitz Bemporad, Pawlikowski and Sievers, 2000:64).
Such events was made possible by modern science’s exclusion of divine intervention and modern cosmology’s evidence that the universe started with a big bang (Jonas(b), 2000: xvii). Where humans was made above all other animals with a higher intellectual capacity (Hebrews 5:14); man’s moral capacity in conjunction with his intellectual power produces faith and hope.In light of Jonas’ work and in Barbour models, science and religion coexists In light of Jonas’ work and in Barbour models,(Stahl, 2006:8)although the Nazi contention was living with the mental faculties that purely depended on the Darwinian theories that sought scientific bias which welcome a new idea that overthrew morality in the purpose of self-preservation. Science thus provides the factual choice while faith provides the wisdom to make moral choices (Zinser, 2003:08).Such reason was the bud of German philosophy as Hitler preferred to believe how humans can be compared with animals for experimentation and permitting natural forces to control evolution.
God’s hand in the Jewish suffering and in my own contention based on Jonas’ writings was the allowance of such things to happen to test humanity’s capacity to act on the basis of morality and ethics. God therefore has delegated man to think based on logic and morality for a best course of action to approach a problem that man created through science.