on ethics, religion and science

Ethics and religion must join forces if they are to stand up to science. What is more, they must, so to speak, beat science at its own game; that is, they must become scientific. Only then will they speak intelligibly and perhaps be able to steer that mighty but mostly blind colossus that science has become. Science has advanced so far that it is now explaining the very origins of both ethics and religion to us. This can either be construed as a mean rear-guard attack or as a moment of true freedom. Either ethics and religion accept their humble and sometimes base origins in order to emancipate themselves from them; or they will retrench themselves behind mysterious non-scientific truths and die a violent death. The truth that science has offered to ethics and religion must be received, but this needn’t signify dependence. Rather, this is an opportunity to understand what ethics and religion have been, and thus what they might become.

Our world is changing rapidly and we find ourselves hard pressed to keep up with it. The incredible social, cultural, technological and ecological changes overtaking the planet have caused profound moral and religious trauma. We no longer know what to do. The only solution to this very serious predicament that i can think of is to reshape both ethics and religion so that they too can begin to continuously change and keep pace with our world.

We had long thought that both religion and ethics were immutable realities that we needed only properly understand. They have turned out to be but contingent aspects of who we are. Indeed, they seem to have developed long ago as unashamedly practical solutions to banal down-to-earth problems. They are thus no more than rough and ready tools that we have been tweaking, most of the time unwittingly, over millions of years. The time has now come to begin using these tools with full knowledge of what we are doing.

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