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Seven years later, Air Force leaders are still struggling to find an appropriate balance that will continue to allow airmen their religious freedom while honoring their commitment to duty.
"For secular scientists and moderate Christians alike, there can be few developments of modern fundamentalism more perplexing and unfortunate than that of religious pseudo-science. This, for anyone not familiar with the term, is the sort of thing best exemplified by such theories as Young-Earth Creationism--it is, in brief, the practice of trying to use science to justify religious convictions."
(2010) British Journal of Religious Education, Promoting positive attitudes towards science and religion among sixth-form pupils: dealing with scientism and creationism.
What does it mean to say that these institutions are religious schools? First, that they possess a dogma, unwritten but understood by all: a set of “correct” opinions and beliefs, or at best, a narrow range within which disagreement is permitted. There is a right way to think and a right way to talk, and also a right set of things to think and talk about. Secularism is taken for granted. Environmentalism is a sacred cause. Issues of identity—principally the holy trinity of race, gender, and sexuality—occupy the center of concern. The presiding presence is Michel Foucault, with his theories of power, discourse, and the social construction of the self, who plays the same role on the left as Marx once did. The fundamental questions that a college education ought to raise—questions of individual and collective virtue, of what it means to be a good person and a good community—are understood to have been settled. The assumption, on elite college campuses, is that we are already in full possession of the moral truth. This is a religious attitude. It is certainly not a scholarly or intellectual attitude.
So this is how I’ve come to understand the situation. Selective private colleges have become religious schools. The religion in question is not Methodism or Catholicism but an extreme version of the belief system of the liberal elite: the liberal professional, managerial, and creative classes, which provide a large majority of students enrolled at such places and an even larger majority of faculty and administrators who work at them. To attend those institutions is to be socialized, and not infrequently, indoctrinated into that religion.
Please note that while our interests are broad and inclusive, narratives should focus strongly on science and religion. We discourage submissions that focus on secondary issues such as bioethics; ecology, the environment, and sustainability; and pseudoscience.
How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person toanother, if it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology?In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awakenthis feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it.
I should mention that when I was speaking about these issues last fall with a group of students at Whitman College, a selective school in Washington State, that idea, that elite private colleges are religious institutions, is the one that resonated with them most. I should also mention that I received an email recently from a student who had transferred from Oral Roberts, the evangelical Christian university in Tulsa, to Columbia, my alma mater. The latter, he found to his surprise, is also a religious school, only there, he said, the faith is the religion of success. The religion of success is not the same as political correctness, but as I will presently explain, the two go hand in hand.
"Religion is the antithesis of science; science is competent to illuminate all the deep questions of existence, and does so in a manner that makes full use of, and respects the human intellect. I see neither need nor sign of any future reconciliation."
The individual feels the futility of human desires and aims and thesublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature andin the world of thought. Individual existence impresses him as a sort ofprison and he wants to experience the universe as a single significantwhole. The beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear at anearly stage of development, e.g., in many of the Psalms of David and insome of the Prophets. Buddhism, as we have learned especially from thewonderful writings of Schopenhauer, contains a much stronger element ofthis.
What matters even more to Weber is whether one adheres unflinchingly to his values. In "The Profession and Vocation of Politics," Weber explicitly articulates how one must look at life from a chosen value: "What matters is not age but the trained ability to look at realities of life with an unsparing gaze, to bear these realities and be a match for them inwardly." The comment exposes the inherent relationship, for Weber, between value-free analysis and value-driven moral action, a dichotomy that resurfaces in Weber's discussion of an ethics of commitment and an ethics of responsibility. To be "a match for them inwardly" is to cling to one's values even in the face of the inevitable "polar night of icy darkness." "For truly, although politics is something done with the head, it is certainly not done with the head alone." Values are linked to the heart -- to subjectivity -- as much as they are linked to the head.
Although science and religion have long been in collision, it is fashionable (and politically correct) to portray this ongoing battle as a mutual accommodation, but in reality, religion is doing most of the accommodating, as the gaps in understanding that nourish God grow ever smaller. For many seeking religious consolation, the advance of science has forced a retreat to the easy fix of New Age nostrums; but in , Chet Raymo shows that there is a better way.