Zygons aim to publish sound formulations of thought about religious and moral questions in the light of contemporary science and scholarship involves the hope that a sounder conviction or more credible faith about human goals and aspirations can be provided for men in the midst of the modern world. It is expected that the primary elements of even the already widely discounted Judeo-Christian faith of the West may find constructive illumination and support from the contemporary sciences rather than further destruction. The paper by physicist Harold Schilling in this issue suggests the possibility of an increasing confluence of the scientific and Christian faiths.
The paper by church historian John Godbey suggests there is a need for a scientific theology and implies the possibility of one.
Some revolutionary changes have taken place during recent years in the communities of science and of Christian faith. These developments are in my opinion producing a new situation in the relationships between science and religion. Too long have they seemed to be enemies. In view of the new situation they should now consciously assume a different stance toward each other, and they should then be regarded as allies, making common cause in attacking the difficult and perplexing problems of our day. A lecture, or book, or course on what is commonly called science and religion should no longer be thought of instinctively as dealing primarily with either controversy or reconciliation between the two fields. We should settle once and for all in our minds that these potent forces of our culture are not incongruous but rather represent kindred spirits and ideals. We should therefore assume that any discussion of this subject will consider constructively and creatively how and what science and religion can contribute together to the enriching of life and thought, and therefore to the more complete humanization of mankind. …
Harold K. Schilling is professor of physics and dean emeritus of the Graduate School, Pennsylvania State University at University Park.
Brief Remarks on the Need for a Scientific Theology by John C. Godbey
A scientific theology is a systematic statement concerning the nature and bases of human values that utilizes the findings and the correlative methods of the sciences. As a systematic statement, it represents a new departure in the discipline of systematic theology. …
John C. Godbey is assistant professor of church history at Meadville Theological School, Chicago.
Real mystics dont hide mysteries, they reveal them. They set a thing up in broad daylight, and when youve seen it its still a mystery. But the mystagogues hide a thing in darkness and secrecy, and when you find it, its a platitude.
[G. K. CHESTERTON, The Arrow of Heaven]
Let me first state my views on salient points, so as to declare my hand. Explanations will come later.
Religion in its traditional forms is a thing of the past—largely due to the development of science and to the discrediting by the sciences of religions archaic views of the world and man. There are constant attempts to retain and revitalize parts or aspects of traditional religion in the new conditions. These are transformed ritual, transformed faith, and meaning, where meaning is meant to retain aspects of salvation. It turns out that these three aspects rather hang together, and that faith still seems to clash with science. It is my observation that these days see the growth of a new silent avant-garde of able and civic-minded religious scientists. They belong to various denominations and hold a new version of religious philosophy which follows Duhem, Buber, and Polanyi. It is compatible with science and revives ritual and faith in a desperate effort to find meaning. I oppose this avant-garde philosophy as one which makes its holders more living-dead than is bearable, as one which empties both science and religion of their significance. Following Arthur Edward Waite, I find quest to be more significant in religion than faith, or ritual, or salvation. Like Russell in his less bellicose and more pensive moods, I find quest to be the heart of research, and I find it full of religious overtones. The true religion, the quest, seems to be in science now as in Spinozas days. …
Joseph Agassi is professor of philosophy, Boston University.
Marx, Social Change, and Humanization by Donald Marvin Borchert
Men in many areas of the world are becoming increasingly concerned about building a more truly human society. This concern for humanization often implies an outright revolutionizing of social conditions. In these revolutionary times, a revisit to the thought of that paragon revolutionary, Karl Marx, might provide some insights germane to the present struggle to reconstruct society. It is with such a goal in mind that this brief survey of Karl Marxs views on social change has been undertaken. To achieve this task, Marxs views on social change in the Manifesto and post-Manifesto writings are first of all examined. Then his pre-Manifesto works are studied. Finally, on the basis of an evaluation of his perspective, a number of suggestions are offered relative to the contemporary task of humanization. …
Donald Marvin Borchert is assistant professor of philosophy at Ohio University.
Should Man Control His Genetic Future? by Donald Huisingh
In recent years, many scientists have begun to emerge from the ivory towers of pure scientific research and to become actively engaged in discussions with nonscientists. The scientists are beginning to realize their ethical responsibilities and obligations. Their concern has developed most rapidly since the discovery of the awesome power of atomic energy. This event has emphasized the need for scientists to inform their fellow citizens about the findings of science and the implications they may have for their lives and those of future generations.
Today scientists are speaking to representatives from all walks of life, including politicians, theologians, economists, and laymen in general. As concrete examples, three separate symposia dealing with Man and His Future have been held within the last four years.¹ The speaker lists were comprised primarily of physical and biological scientists.
None of the speakers claimed to have final answers about what direction man should take in the future. Most of them indicated various alternatives and discussed the probable results, but few grappled seriously with the quandaries that are likely to result in the pursuance of any particular course.
It is not surprising that most scientists are reticent to speak about the moral and ethical considerations of their work. They have tended to relegate religion to certain discrete times and places in their lives and to do the same with their science. Thus, few have had to grapple earnestly with the fundamental moral and ethical problems their work may raise. Furthermore, more scientists (I for one) came through undergraduate and graduate training in the physical and biological sciences with little formal experience in the social sciences. Scientists also appreciate the necessity to specialize and are aware of the pitfalls of speaking beyond their specialty, so they have tended to shy away from the territory of the moralist and the ethicist.
I feel uncomfortable in the role I try to fulfill in this paper: to write about the Ethical Issues of Genetic Manipulation, I am not an ethicist, nor am I primarily a genetic specialist. In what follows, however, I will first attempt to sketch briefly some of the alternatives science has made or is likely to make available to man to enable him to manipulate and direct the future of the human race. Second, I will discuss the problems involved in employing some of these alternative means and suggest tentative guidelines in their development and application. …
¹ See J. D. Roslansky, ed., Genetics and the Future of Man (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1966); T. M. Sonneborn, ed., The Control of Human Heredity and Evolution (New York: Macmillan Co., 1965); and G. Wolstenholme, ed., Man and His Future (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1963).
Donald Huisingh is associate professor, Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University at Raleigh.
So Human an Animal: How We Are Shaped by Surroundings and Events by René Dubos, reviewed by Chauncey D. Leake