CHRIST OUR SAVIOR
Roman Catholic Parish
MANCHESTER, VERMONT

 
 

May 14, 2017

Dear All,

Almost exactly five-hundred years ago Galileo Galilei made the discoveries and created the proof that the earth and the humans dwelling on it are not the center of the universe.  Until then, the commonsense view of things was that the sun, moon stars and all things else moved across a spherical sky which had as its center a spherical earth (I would hesitate to describe earthlings as spherical – except for YT).

This meant that the physical description of the universe in the book of Genesis was wrong.  Likewise the assumption that humanity held a privileged (“central”) place in the universe was wrong.  Indeed, it would seem that humans are marginal to the universe, maybe only one of countless rational races, certainly part of something rather than the summit of everything.  We are still coping with the fallout from this discovery.

There are those who insist that the real place of humans in the universe is that of obedient and unquestioning diffidence.  As only one of (perhaps) many, we have no privileges vis-à-vis the rest the universe and we may, even, be problematic for the rest – think about climate change here, or ‘post-human imaginings.

Besides all that, since we cannot trust our own observational skills, all of our human ‘truths’ are mere points of view and perspectives.  I.E. nothing you say is prescriptive for me, since only you see things in that way.  Cosmology, anthropology, religion, ethics and almost all human sciences can be no more than provisional and are probably wrong.

Not all scientists hold this extreme view, but evolutionists and bio-scientists and a lot of geneticists seem to favor skepticisms like this.

The law of human nescience has not, however, meant the end of human willfulness.  In fact, since there is precious little proof that anything is true beyond question, ‘anything goes’ as long as no one gets hurt too badly and the doer is willing and able to pay for the anything.  The human will never needed facts and actually thrives in a fact-less world.

Physician assisted suicide, child-birth surrogacy, drug- and sex- tourism, rampant consumerism: all are the fruits of a worldview that says ‘there is no reason why not’, a worldview in which the ‘bottom line’ is always a dollar figure, never a fact.

It is in this world that demagoguery and societal unrest take over from rational discussions of the common good and how to achieve it.  It is in this world that religious indifferentism and even hostility to religion bloom as in a hot house.  It is in this world that people of faith are derided for believing by those who hold to the ‘credo’ that there is nothing to believe.

It is in this world that people start uprooting customs and practices nurtured in other cultures and using them for their own ends and goals.

It may be that religion has not dealt very well with the Galileo revolution.  But that same revolution has left us with no certainty but uncertainty and no defense but a better offense.   And no one can do well in such a world.

Really and truly and revoltingly yours,

tm

     



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