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Philosophy, Theology, Science In his encyclical Fides et ratio - STOQ

Philosophy, Theology, Science In his encyclical Fides et ratio - STOQ

Philosophy, Theology, Science In his encyclical Fides et ratio -

1 Philosophy, Theology, Science Joseph M. Zycinski Archbishop of Lublin In his encyclical Fides et ratio John Paul II invites scientists to join philosophers and theologians in their search for perennial truth, which transcends the epistemological specificity of any one field of research and provides answers to the basic questions of human existence. The pope writes: “I cannot fail to address a word to scientists, whose research offers an ever greater knowledge of the universe as a whole and of the incredibly rich array of its component parts ... with their complex and molecular structures. In expressing my admiration and in offering encouragement ... I would urge them to continue their efforts without ever abandoning the sapiential horizon within which scientific and technological achievements are wedded to the philosophical and ethical values which are distinctive and indelible mark of the human person”(FaR, 106). In this intellectual framework, the never ending search for truth always points beyond to a reality transcending actual research, bringing questions which give access to Mystery and require interdisciplinary cooperation. In this process of intellectual interaction, on the one hand, science can help theologians to free their discourse from common sense schemes and facile anthropomorphisms. On the other hand, theology and classically understood philosophy can help scientists to free their research programmes from the illusion of false absolutes and to open their vistas to moral and aesthetic values, so important for human being 1 . In the framework of deep transformations in modern science we need the intellectual courage of St Thomas Aquinas to make use in our philosophical and theological theories the vision of the world provided by modern physics. The necessity for the dialogue between science and religious faith is even more evident in the context of deep intellectual changes in the contemporary culture. At the beginning of our century physics was regarded as an ideal of scientific discipline and its discoveries were supposed to answer all questions of importance for the human species. In the early 1930's, when Otto Neurath, a representative of the Vienna Circle, wanted to transform psychoanalysis into a scientific discipline he tried to make it similar to theoretical physics by introducing mathematical formalism into psychoanalytic stories 2 . Seventy years later we could notice the opposite trend: in the critique of science inspired by postmodernism even physics is regarded as a collection of stories, fables and ballads 3 , whereas literary critique is often presented as the highest intellectual achievement of humankind. In this new intellectual climate there is a special need for intellectual solidarity which could resist the facile simplifications proposed on the level of the

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