The Pope Versus Science

11 09 2006

Pope Benedict XVI attracted some 250,000 people to an outdoor Mass on Sunday, urging his largely secular home country not to let science and reason make it “deaf” to God.

“Put simply, we are no longer able to hear God ­ there are too many frequencies filling our ears,” he told the crowd, at a former airport on the outskirts of this city where he once served as archbishop. “What is said about God strikes us as pre-scientific, no longer suited for our age.”

[. . .]

“I know that in our pluralistic world it is no easy thing in schools to bring up the subject of faith,” he said. “But it is hardly enough for our children and young people to learn technical knowledge and skills alone, and not the criteria that give knowledge and skill their direction and meaning.

“Encourage your children and students not only to raise questions about particular things, but also to ask about the why and the wherefore of life as a whole,” he added. “Help them to realize that answers that do not finally lead to God are insufficient.”

Dogma first. Supporting evidence/reasoning/justification second. Got it. Via the New York Times.

UPDATE: Is there a theme here? Ahmadinejad wants secular academics booted out of the Iranian academies. Ratzinger claims that “People in Africa and Asia [. . .] do not see the real threat to their identity in the Christian faith, but in the contempt for God and the cynicism that considers mockery of the sacred to be an exercise of freedom and that holds up utility as the supreme moral criterion for the future of scientific research.”

And now, according to US conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza, the secularleft–“people like Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Barney Frank, Bill Moyers, and Michael Moore–are responsible for fostering a culture that angers and repulses not just Muslim countries but also traditional and religious societies around the world…[D’Souza] argues that it is not our exercise of freedom that enrages our enemies, but our abuse of that freedom–from the sexual liberty of women to the support of gay marriage, birth control, and no-fault divorce, to the aggressive exportation of our vulgar, licentious popular culture.” For D’Souza, “It is only by curtailing the left’s attacks on religion, family, and traditional values that we can persuade moderate Muslims and others around the world to cooperate with us and begin to shun the extremists in their own countries.”

Via Dispatches From the Culture Wars, where D’Souza’s thesis receives the smackdown it so desperately deserves.

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