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Robert Wright suggests how science vs. religion wars could be ended

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Robert Wright (journalist)
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I have a lot of time for Robert W and his thoughts about the meaning and purpose of life. His thesis, Non-Zero sum game or how to win-win all the time, is persuasive. His newest book “The Evolution of God” is an application of Non-Zero summing to religion and science.

This past weekend he posted a piece in NY Times with these final paragraphs:

Clearly, this evolutionary narrative could fit into a theology with some classic elements: a divinely imparted purpose that involves a struggle toward the good, a struggle that even leads to a kind of climax of history. Such a theology could actually abet the good, increase the chances of a happy ending. A more evolved religion could do what religion has often done in the past: use an awe-inspiring story to foster social cohesion — except this time on a global scale.

Of course, religion doesn’t have a monopoly on awe and inspiration. The story that science tells, the story of nature, is awesome, and some people get plenty of inspiration from it, without needing the religious kind. What’s more, science has its own role to play in knitting the world together. The scientific enterprise has long been on the frontiers of international community, fostering an inclusive, cosmopolitan ethic — the kind of ethic that any religion worthy of this moment in history must also foster.

William James said that religious belief is “the belief that there is an unseen order, and that our supreme good lies in harmoniously adjusting ourselves thereto.” Science has its own version of the unseen order, the laws of nature. In principle, the two kinds of order can themselves be put into harmony — and in that adjustment, too, may lie a supreme good.

Robert Wright, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, is the author, most recently, of “The Evolution of God.”

This shows the way for me to cut the shouting chatter between science (a la Richard Dawkins) and religion by any evangelical!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/08/25 at 10:42

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