Atheists, it seems, would like to ascribe all culpability for the many theatres and battlefields of violence around the world to religion. And too many religious believers would like to ascribe all responsibility for the moral decline around the world to science, and to the secularists' position, whether it is secular "religion" or atheism pure and simple.
Science, the discovery of information cannot be replaced, supplanted or eliminated by religion, or by faith. Faith, on the other hand, can never be eradicated by the discoveries of science. The more information we learn about the complex systems of the human body, the more we realize how much we still do not understand. The more we learn about the multiple solar systems, the more we are aware of our barely having scratched the surface of that sphere. What has been happening, it seems, is that the more frightened the proponents of religion become of the secular and of science, the more virulent their attacks on those who espouse such positions. And vice versa, the more science is denigrated by those who proclaim a fundamentalist faith, no matter which specific faith, the more hardened are the positions taken by those wishing to retain its importance in the public life of all cultures.
We are in a time when war, violence, the ultimate "take-out" of one's opponents, no matter their redeeming qualities, no matter how much we owe them for their previous lives, characterizes the quality of the debate between any two opponents. We have forgotten how intellectually, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually to "walk and chew gum" at the same time. And, in the process, we have lost our willingness to tolerate ambiguity, whether it be ambiguity in matter of faith and religion, or in matters of physics and biochemistry. Experts, in all fields, have become our idols and replaced any discussion by ordinary mortals who have not learned everything there is to know to complete a PhD thesis, and the qualifying oral defence. We turn to experts for too many answers, and in the process we have lost our confidence in our questions, and in the joy of both not knowing and of being wrong.
Not knowing, the capacity to utter, when it is appropriate, "I really do not know"...is a healthy, honest and sustainable position whether one is starting with a question of faith or of science....and to acknowledge our own emptiness especially of "hard information", in today's culture, is nothing short of capitulation to our enemies.
And, being "wrong" in the eyes of the public's now ubiquitous and all-seeing "EYE" (for there are cameras of all sizes and shapes and both public and private ownership) is a total decimation of one's reputation, at least in that specific community. And all of those "eyes" trained on our every move are determined to find either a social miscue or an ethical or moral misstep and then to expose it to the courts or to the web, depending on the source of the pictures.
We have made the pursuit of "wrong" of "evil" and even of the "inappropriate" the work of armies of committed opponents of "Satan" whatever and whomever we conceive of that monster to be.
And in the compulsion of our pursuit of the work of Satan, we have turned "exposure" into the new religion, regardless of the historic sources and dogmatic beliefs of the religion we happen to practice in our mosques, synagogues or cathedrals.
Selling out to Satan, and pointing the ubiquitous finger of judgement on whomever happens to cross our path, in our compulsive attempt to purify our society, streets, schools, churches and boardrooms, while we permit, through our complicity negligence, the starvation and the poverty and the illiteracy of millions of our fellow creatures is nothing short of the height of hypocrisy, regardless of the faith community on the membership card we carry, or to whose institutional coffers we write our cheques.
We have become, individually and collectively, obsessive perfectionists, and supplanted all uncertainties and ambiguities in both science and faith, with our determination and will to power...in our despicable powerlessness, or at least our perception of powerlessness.
Neurosis, and certainly psychosis, does not become any person pursuit God, or the wonders of science. And we have spiralled downward into a collective and complicit and negligent neurosis, and then projected our fears of our own imperfections and the discovery of those imperfections, and misdeeds by the whole world, and called those projections "God's will" as our way of covering up our hubristic blindness and insouciance.
No matter the religion, or the atheism, we have not learned to turn our finger/eye from the speck in the other's eye, and concentrate on the plank in our own capacity to see. And until we do, we will pontificate loudly and hollowly about perfection, certainty and how terrible everyone else is, while we walk proudly "doing God's will" without the slightest uncertainty or confusion or question about our motives or our methods.