11/22/2007

The greatest need for dialogues between religion and science today

The crossing of new frontiers by science and technology is one of the characteristics of humankind. Recent development in the fields of Natural Sciences, Cosmology, Quantum Physics, Neuroscience and Genetic Modifications raise substantive questions concerning the Human being’s relation to the World, Self and God.

More critically, according to my investigation and interest, the greatest need for these dialogues today among mentioned disciplines which are all very unique and important field, is in the field of Bioethics, especially in questions and statements about Genetic Modifications. Why? Aristotle’s question – What is Being? -- has been a basic through the western philosophical and theological tradition.

Today the question must be rethought in the light of recent scientific facts such as the discovery of stem cells in 1998, the mapping and sequencing of the Human Genome in 2001 by Human Genome Project. It would appear that science and technology are autonomous and value-free in their investigation in this discipline. But they are not! They take place in a cultural, social and environmental context and should be servants of humanity, not its leaders. It means that scientists, industrial managers and politicians have a public responsibility and must be aware that there are moral limits, which can be at loggerheads with fame and gain.

Scientist discover remarkable new insights into our cosmic, earthly, and genetic origins almost daily amidst numerous warning signals about “playing God” with DNA and genetic engineering techniques. But at the end of the day there is still a question to be posed: Will the privatization and commercialization of nature lead to the functionalizing and commodification of the human being? Necessity of dialogue between science and religion, especially in question of ontology and comprehensive epistemology, plays a role here again.

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