W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page Contents Page for Volume What is New
THE PHILOSOPHIC OCCUPATION OF SCIENCE IN RELIGION,
AND OF RELIGION WHICH EVEN NAMES CHRIST
It is never the same in occupied territory.
In the latest copy of Creation magazine (Vol.33, No. 3, 2011), it is pointed out that Galileo's trial in the Roman Catholic was not in fact a confrontation between narrow-minded biblical understanding and a solemn, correct science. It was rather between the geocentric view from Aristotle and such, and Galileo. The Church had in fact taken this aboard, though some Jesuits soon after Galileo are said to have repeated his observations and agreed with him. There was apparently some confusion both amid scientists and Romanists, each speaking with apparent authority.
Although the magazine points out that many knew and had long known the earth was not flat, but of the nature of a sphere, and some did not follow Aristotle, yet the fact remains that the Church in this confrontation with Galileo*1, CHOSE to follow Aristotle, a ludicrous and biblically forbidden performance (Colossians 2:8), and to impose his view. This imposition likewise was based on their concepts of their own sovereignty as the Roman church, which Matthew 23:8-10 denies absolutely. If ALL are brethren and ONE is Master, and HIS name is Jesus Christ, born of a virgin (Matthew 1), bodily risen (Acts 2), sinless (Hebrews 1-7, I Peter 2), how on earth or beyond it, can this one so characterised, BE someone else, such as a papal authority! Is nothing sacred then ? even in His own name!
The point is then that this has nothing to do with the Christian Church, biblically defined, whatsoever. There was a large and militarily armed heretical body, arrogating authority to itself, and there was the biblically defined Christian Church, leaving with Him and seeking to operate according to His biblical word. What the former did concerned itself alone; for if you can try to pre-empt the authority of Christ, at least you cannot bind the Bible in your power. It is written, and it stays. Trying to justify or bidding fair to soften the errors of such a body is no gain to the Christ of the Bible, the Lord's Christ. Confusion of loyalties does nothing but harm.
Just as formerly one had to note that despite the apparent willingness of Cardinal Bellarmine, in talks with Galileo, to change and bind the understanding of the Bible, if Galileo were proved right, so this was not tolerance in the end. It was in fact this same Cardinal who pressed the charge against Galileo, when the time came. What do we learn ? It is rather this: we find the folly of having an authoritarian church,not limiting its doctrine to the Bible, which would hold views without the slightest biblical consent, and even seek to apply them, and that, even with force!
It is true, as the magazine indicates, that Bellarmine congratulated Galileo earlier, but this does not mean that he did not, in the end, in this follow the authority of the Church which decided not to follow this line, but to attack him instead. He did what he was told.
As noted in Ch. 5 of Holocaust of Morality, you find this:
In reality, we rather find in him, an intolerance of the plain meaning of scripture, as Bellarmine himself cites it, in favour of what "appears to teach the contrary", so that the Cardinal would seek to change the interpretation for the church if the scientist found otherwise! In principle how flexible with the word of God is this authoritarian. In practice, how redoubtable at the trial, he was, in seeking to force the word of the Romanists on Galileo!
This is then what he would conform to, if Galileo were proven to be right (which Bellarmine was not then satisfied to be the case). Scripture would be stressed, compressed or redressed to make it conform. Its own declaration would be annulled or countermanded or altered, if necessary.
It was not necessary. It did not say any such thing as the Romanists in this declared in the trial. That however is just a scene in this scenario demonstrating the very implacability which Rome brings. IT is to be persuaded; WHEN it is, then the Bible has to conform. If it is not, even if the Bible says nothing to the point at issue, as in this case, and philosophy alone is the basis for belief in the matter, it will still bind and force the issue, in favour of philosophy, that of unbelieving man! It will do so in the commandeered name of Jesus Christ, into whose mouth, or whose doctrine, such specifically unchristian material was put.
This is precisely the record, and the basis of the Inquisition (cf. Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Ch. 14). As one French journalist is reputed to have stated: When you are in power, we claim liberty by YOUR principles; when WE are in power, we use force by our own.
Later in Holocaust of Morality, Ch. 5, we find this (cf. Alpha and Omega ... Ch. 1):
Thus it was this same Cardinal Bellarmine who did indeed counsel Galileo not to state his astronomical theory as the TRUTH, but who, later, was also the very one who COMMANDED Galileo to RECANT, in a mode which does not seem reasonable, or righteous, or fair, or just or really quite pleasant in style, as the account in Refuting Evolution in its tenor of treatment, might allow one to think. If we are going to take a topic, let us do it full justice. Thus Galileo, having been put under this command BY Bellarmine, was later consigned to prison, whatever may have actually happened, and consigned to retract - even if he murmured, or is reputed to have done, in speaking of the earth, 'and for all that it moves' (as Phillip Schaff renders it - p. 679, Vol. VIII, History of the Christian Church). It is there also that we find that Bellarmine ORDERED Galileo to teach that the earth was the immovable centre of the universe.
Let us not then be misled as to the part Romanism played concerning Galileo, because of an early congratulation before the rot set in; and the rot ? it was from Bellarmine that the attack against the Galilean view was pressed. Certainly it was philosophic in basis, assuredly it had nothing to do with the Bible; indeed, as noted, Bellarmine had congratulated the scientist before authority set in like a Winter rain: but he accepted this authority and then used it to condemn Galileo.
Thus, just as it was indeed not the Bible which met science here, but philosophy and an alleged Church which, despite knowledge available, chose to add to the Bible the follies of philosophy: so the warning is not to believe and follow what mixes either philosophy and the Bible, or philosophy and science. In ONLY one enduring book, authority has come clear, with perfect record, and that is the Bible. Christ whose Spirit inspired the Bible (II Timothy 3:16, I Cor. 2:8-13, I Peter 1, II Peter 2), is likewise invulnerable to refutation, for a man tries too high, in seeking such results, and fails miserably. Such is the testimony of history, with its gallant sails set to bombard the Christ of the Bible, always shown to be mere romancing built on philosophy, not on history or the Bible.
This is because God has given His own word, and our puny and grotesquely little knowledge of His creation, and our small power next to His, makes the elevation of philosophy, using science as a kind of god, or the Bible as a sort of reservoir to be infected, a mirage to be dreamt of by comedians, an asinine folly, for those who will not learn. This is not because of any individual's special role or folly, but endemic and general to those who reject what God has to say. While not all of these are subject to this outrageous deviation from factual reality called organic evolution, for example, many are, and some pursue it as if Communists in Russia, or Spaniards in Peru, with a missionary zeal almost immeasurable, religious in nature, assailing in many cases, the minds of children. This many do by just such rank authority as Rome in the day of Galileo misused, and on bases just as unwarranted as its philosophic hoard; and indeed, it is for centuries that such things have been done.
Of many overlaid with their tradition and self-assurance, Christ says that they shut their eyes lest they should see( Matthew 15:13-15). That is the biblical depiction of this kind of error; and when this is too much for people now to take, being fact, just as it was in Christ's own day, that is merely a measure of godless hatred. Its culmination is traced predictively in II Thessalonians 2, where BECAUSE they did not receive the love of the truth, they will accept a delusion. Currently, it seems truth is not entirely and always molested. Yet the cords and chains are becoming progressively more evident, tens of thousands of children being propagandised by State authority, argument excluded in science, help excluded except in the chosen direction, discrimination rife, alleged truth safeguarded by chains of intolerant suppression even of children's voices!
The message, then, is not that Rome was not so bad in this, after all. It was a wrong-headed persecuting, self-opinionated body, playing the highwayman to the authority of God, and repressing knowledge with no scriptural grounds, in the name of Jesus Christ, thus debasing HIS name for its own. Why do you seek to kill Me, said Christ, a man who told you the truth! (John 8). They at His own time, however, frequently rejected Him, openly. When they tried to operate on Him, to change His thought or way or word, He rebuked them openly. There are other ways of change; and traditionalism and authority in a body not heeding the Head utterly, but other things, other ways, other ideas, these are one mode of lapse (cf. Mark 7:7ff.). This is always a contemporary affair, never dated, for the spirit of it circles in many sites, to this hour. There are warning that must not lapse (cf. I Timothy 4:1-5), by those who would safeguard the sheep (cf. Acts 20:29).
What, then, of ostensible Christianity, where the Bible does not solely rule doctrine ? There in this Galileo affair, the ONLY teacher did not even have a say in the imposture pressed on Galileo. HE forbad the use of such power to arrest, to force (Matthew 26, John 18:36). Certainly what happened was to force what was philosophic and not biblical: but in one regard, it was all the worse for that. WHY force opinions based on philosophy or romantic thinking, as if God were subject to you! Jeremiah in Ch. 23 puts it like this, or rather God by His Spirit causes Him to reveal this: I did not send these prophet, yet they ran!
In the case of the present contention that many knew of the earth's movement, this is relevant, in that it is not a simple Church-science confrontation. Some in the Romanist body agreed with Galileo; but its AUTHORITY, wholly misconceived and anti-scriptural, as a supposed Church was misused in the interests of a preferred philosophy which in the end, in the trial, it endorsed over Galileo.
The lessons ? Do not allow philosophically based scientistic or ecclesiastical pretension to overcloud clear truth from the Bible; and do not fear what scientific method will disclose. Followed with care, it is reliable, even if limited (cf. Scientific Method). Of course, numbers of scientists have deliberately altered data, because of philosophic opinion, or cut out the obvious, but this just means due care is needed. Prominent scientist, Lord Zuckerman, in his book, Beyond the Ivory Tower, pointed out this the amazing slowness of many to accept established facts, contrary to their theory. After all, he declares, scientists are human and subject to human failure as well as anyone else. It is scientific METHOD which counts.
It is only the word of God which is never in need of correction, however hard men try to re-write it or to ignore the vast abundance of testimony.
In these two points, then, the inclusion of philosophy into science*1, and the misuse of authority to press the result without admission or correction for considerable periods, where God and His creation is concerned, current science is in no small degree, in chains. In these two points, organic evolutionists are down on both counts. Scientific method condemns them, as noted (cf. TMR Ch. 1, Ch. 7, SMR pp. 140ff.), and philosophy animates them*2. They dither in disagreement (cf. Wake Up World! ... Chs. 4-6, SMR Chs. 1 -2). They do so because their underlying ignoring of essential competitive evidence between their assumptions and the testimony of both logic and the Bible, PREVENTS their finding the truth which in the normal patient, and persistent style of science properly so-called, meets all conditions without need of fracture and ferment!
It is FOUND to be the Bible, which meets each point with unique facility and with no contradiction at any one. See for example: The gods of naturalism have no go! and Deity and Design...
This then is the nature of the misuse of authority, whether in science or religion, where philosophy is smuggled in, either without noting, or as if it were something else, as with Lewontin*2!
In the matter of Galileo, then, in the perspective of the principles involved, Romanism is not to be made to look as if irrelevant in this matter, because it did opt for folly. Why then not make it clear that it DID err greatly and grossly both in its attitude, its pride and its anti-scriptural fulminations, based on zero rational reference to the Bible! It erred the more in this, that some realised the truth, but bowed to authority which CHOSE to follow Aristotle, and to attack Galileo because of this.
The ONLY winner in this, other than Christ, whose word uniquely stands, is the Bible and its train and followers. Just as it did not specify earth centrality, so it was in perfect harmony with Galileo. What philosophy foolishly had said, it did not say. It did not change from an earlier position to a later one, like many scientists. Its statement need no revision, let alone on this point.
Thinking it might be a good idea to have a central earth is nothing to do with the Bible. In fact, it now appears that the Milky Way is very near the centre of the universe (Possess Your Possessions Volume 7, Ch. 1), but this is merely an interesting fact, relative to the Bible.
To learn from these events:
DO NOT follow any religion which adds to the Bible and tries to make a synthesis of this and something else.
DO NOT listen to any 'authority' of any religious organisation, who speaks out as if in the name of Christ, and does not have biblical authority.
DO NOT allow ANY authority to move you one iota plus or minus, from biblical doctrine, in terms of what God has said. The Bible is not only demonstrably the word of God (cf. SMR), the sole divinely authorised word of God to man, but it has proved and continues to prove itself over the millenia in what it says, and what happens.
DO NOT listen to any 'science' which uses philosophy and not empirical evidence for its basis, or excludes any source, gratuitously, for its seeking of correct formulations. This is precisely what is being done in South Australia, in terms of evolutionism, and in this case a BOARD concerned with independent schools is first posing like a pope, authoritatively and mistakenly to interpret the Bible, and then to dispense with it as a source or correct statement, without grounds, and contrary to scientific grounds*3.
As with Galileo and the authoritarian and heretical Romanist body (cf. SMR pp. 911, 1032-1088H), so here, do not believe them. Keep strictly to the facts and to the Bible: their agreement together, leaves all competition for dead, in this, that nothing provided is enigmatic, all is in accord with it, and there are endless problems for the scientistic who so act, excluding both the biblical testimony and the creationist evidence, and none for the Bible believer. Empirically and logically, both these sources need attention, the one from God, filled with the relevant criteria and testability over millenia, the other from His beautiful direction to TEST all things as in I Thess. 5, and in Isaiah 48, where the results are so clear that the Lord exposes the truculent oversight which pre-occupied minds pursue.
To be sure there is plenty of room to do these things, whether in tilling the soil and keeping weeds away, following the curse, or in checking out new scientific information; but this is mere labour. It has nothing to do with difficulties. The Bible consistently, insistently and persistently, over the head of philosophy posing s science, as now in this case, remains verified, attested and true. Moreover it is validated and confirmed*4.
Finally, there is no wisdom in referring to a body with Romanism's errors as if it had something to do with the Church, biblically defined. It is at cross purposes with Christ commands (cf. SMR pp. 911, 1032-1088H) so far that its errors are not relevant. In the case in point, it was PRECISELY SUCH an error, in terms of adding philosophy, which disqualifies it as to type, which misled it in fact. Confusion of a huge, hierarchical, persecutory body with false dogmas and admitted additions to the Bible in doctrine, as in canon law*5, with the Church of Jesus Christ is inexcusable. It is also irrelevant in considering issues such as this.
The question is - the BIBLE and the facts, on the one hand; and the philosophically misapplied scientism of the day, and the facts. The former has total victory; the latter total failure. Despite this, as in Bunyan's Vanity Fair, the government forces the philosophically tainted scientism on schools, precisely as the papacy forced the anti-Galilean philosophy of Aristotle on him; except that this Board is not even a false Church. It appears to make up its theories as it will, using its OWN authority.
A secular papacy, Board or no Board, is the basic fault here, and the religion of Statism allied to philosophic, religious attitudes, runs counter to the Commonwealth Law from the UN*6, concerning discrimination in matters religious, and the establishment of a religious approach by law. It is precisely this that it is doing, as Romanism did it earlier, from a different angle. Just as one misused the name of Christ, so the other is misusing the use of law to force religious approaches of its choice.
Not until the return of Christ, will there be peace, as the rejection of Christ, whether by false bodies in Christ's name or false governors in their own, and of ascertainable truth, continues.
To be sure, as in the days of the cross of Christ many may not realise what theya re doing. As with any other disease, pathological condition, philosophical or otherwise, it is not the realisation of a disease, but its presence which taints.
How astutely pleasant and commendably tolerant is the outcome, and the attitude, when such ostensibly absolute power corrupts so extensively! The Bible makes no such statement, the Romanist body had no power to use violence (as it did in this case, both physical and mental) to bind what the Bible does not, nor even if the word of God were contradicted, to use violence to maintain its cause, since this was not permitted even to save the Founder of the Christian Church, from the uttermost point of death (Matthew 26, John 18:36). As Christ put it, IF His kingdom were of this world, then His servants would fight. SINCE they did not, there is proof positive that it is not a kingdom of that type. In fact, it does not even permit such action as shown with Peter in Matthew 26:52ff.. Violence to conscience and faith, using force to compel ideas has no part in the kingdom of heaven; so that the concepts of Rome were alien to it.
A 'nice' turn of words might make the earlier quotation from Bellarmine - to the effect that IF he were to be convinced that Galileo's theory was correct, he would re-interpret the Bible to match it - to be the equivalent of "being allowed to state" that the heliocentric view was a superior hypothesis. In fact, if Galileo put his idea as better than what the authority of the Romanist body at last decided to maintain, when it was articulated, then prison was the liberty, and authority was the rationale of the coercion.
How COULD it be superior in truth if in Romanism, the Bible is statedly truth from God Himself, every word, and if the papacy rules interpretation and Galileo is not God! Thus the false and unbiblical basis, catholic indeed past the Bible, leads to collision. Interpretation ? THAT is for Rome. ITS interpretation ? correctly put by Galileo, wrongly found by Rome, the two were contrary. As in Canon Law, Romanism has vast hinterlands to draw from, way outside the Bible, in presenting what it binds, without authority to do so, but with great emphasis that it does it nevertheless.
What would it matter if at this point or that, when a man is merely toying with an idea, permission to be playful is given, so long as it is not presented as the truth! I In the long run, ROME was to decide what the interpretation was to be, as it still claims power to do, VIA Vatican II; and when that was done, if the scientist was not ON with this, then OFF to the prison with him! That was the actual situation with Galileo. Rome may later find ways to change; but the chameleon stands as a symbol in such cases, when such authority is allegedly present, and is either misused, or not invoked, in binding things, even with force.
Thus the appearance of tolerance becomes the reality of intolerance, flexibility becomes the flexing of muscle, diplomacy becomes duress, majesty becomes implacability ... and you are not saved from this intrusive force even if you want to state that an ecclesiastical, very cartholic version of truth is inferior, your idea superior; for what relevance has non-truth! PAPACY at its own discretion, lays it down what is to be, and it uses the name of God like a stamp, when it does so (despite the monumental collision with Matthew 23:8-10, and I John 2:27 in so doing).
What then of an alleged inferior concept, judged by a papal theory, call it what you will in authority, WHEN the pope or his ministers duly define the concept they have in mind ? Then the theory they favour, as if from the Bible but in fact with due reference to their own canons, and on invalid assumptions takes over ? If then it is to be dis-endorsed later, that would contradict their claims to be speaking with direct authority from God in determinations, to the point that prison or even death could confirm the concept of authority which they claim! If they COULD have defined it, and did not use the power, then they SHOULD have found it out with allegedly available inspiration, before attacking the opponent. If they DID use it, then this merely invalidates there admixture of anti-biblical doctrine with their input. But what of Galileo ?
Burnt ? No, he was not burnt, except in the metaphorical sense, in conscience, in humiliation, in dehumanisation of his voice and mind by force, in prison, that is all... just that. It is not enough to say Rome in this case, did not burn for a scientific idea. That may be true, but it is not exhaustive, as Churchill is reputed to have said to President Roosevelt, re his concept of aid.
More needs to be said, even in breadth of scope, even if in a very few words, than appears in Creation magazine concerning this element (October-December 2010, pp. 33ff.). Christians do not have to answer for the works of a body which, though it has the same of a church, does not keep to the criterion that one must not at all ADD to the word of God (Proverbs 30:6), nor act, unless the one in question be CHRIST HIMSELF (sinless, resurrected bodily, eternal...), as a master and teacher for His body. ALL others than the ETERNAL LORD have subordinate roles, as brethren, and whatever service they may give, it is not as lords, having dominion (I Peter 5), but as aids to the word of God to which nothing may be added, from which nothing subtracted as taught from Deuteronomy 4, 12 to the last Chapter of Revelation.
If therefore Romanism does such a thing as this, it does not impact on biblical Christianity, which both forbids the additives and the attitude. What then of a scientific matter in the special case of this Romanism ? What might be handed out to one in this regard, from its authoritarian midst ? What for doctrine as such ?
Burnt for many doctrinal and dogmatic reasons ? yes, very many were. Imprisoned for a scientific idea ? Yes, Romanism could manage to do that, and did with Galileo. Could one be humiliated, threatened and formally charged because of it, and compelled to gainsay it publicly, when it was a scientific matter ? Yes, in the famous case of Galileo, this was all done. Let us have it as it is.
Superior, then, in what can a theory be, when it is NOT the truth, as defined by Rome ? Superior in what, is it when prison can confine your thoughts in their centre, shame express their toleration and anathema put finale to faith ?
To take thus an hypothetical idea of a Cardinal, contrary to his inclination, which in due course became a concrete denial, imposed with claimed divine authority, as a ground for allowance, this is as far from liberty as is prison, and requires what is declared to be truth, yet to be inferior in some way to theory.
In this Romanist case of Galileo: TRUTH defined is imposed; theory contrary is disposed. The 'truth' is the opinion of a body which can add to the Bible and declare dominatingly what it means, using force to help it maintain its cause. That is the reality. Let us not turn from it, for truth's own sake!
Professor Lewontin of Harvard University in biological science, makes the matter clear, and this is not the first such admission from scientists, what is the philosophic point.
Lewontin, notable figure in the aggressive evolutionary program wrote this: ("Billions and Billionsof Demons," The New York Review, p. 31, January 9, 1997 - emphasis in original):
Our willingness to accept scientific claims against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to naturalism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by oura priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.
Here there would appear many non-scientific philosophical assumptions, some impossible logically, set out not transparently as an admission of a zealot, acknowledging the fault of putting personal ideas into a container unit, into which science is to be sovereignly suppressed, this a sort of papal pronunciamento on doctrine, with a new kind of authority without ground, so much as an exercise in an apparent glorying, cited in true religious zeal.
He freely admits how ludicrous is much in materialistically captured science, as shown in recent volumes as in SMR and Repent or Perish Ch. 7 and Christ Incomparable ... Ch. 2, where such basic concepts are shown to be logically incoherent. It has to appear so, the point he admits, because it is so, and this truncated insistence, based on nothing, a mere preference, MUST produce such ludicrous results, such just-so stories, since it abandons just use of logic and causality, and what this requires. These admittedly appalling looking results come as simple verification that such cut-down science is incompetent. that it does produce such results, when what is removed from the actual evidence, in terms of what has been called THE CULT OF THE FORBIDDEN (cf. SMR pp. 150ff., 330ff.), not only ruins scientific credibility in these forbidden cultish procedures, but cuts away truth, and leaves a desolated result, much like Hiroshima.
Commitment in science, if it is to retain any respectability, is not, as with the Romanist body, to a preferred philosophy, which gave it ludicrous results. Rather, it is to the whole realm of investigation, the entire empirical read-out; and results should be the basis of hypothesis, not the appalling residue when ludicrous hypotheses are insisted on. AT ONCE, when verification fails, and the theory is contradicted, in science, that ends it. It is not necessary to live a whole life of contradiction, while bravely asserting that you will fight them on the beaches of materialism. What is irrational is SURE to be defeated, at length, by reason, and this is the case here.
It is good that the good Lord has given us CAPACITY to look at ALL evidence, including reason within and as found in 'nature', and if possible, better yet that the results are harmonious, logically coherent and impressive when we act without prejudice, carefully testing things out. It is the Lord who in I Thessalonians 5, tells us to TEST ALL THINGS. THAT, it is true to scientific method; just as revelation is true to God, and the results of the two present no disagreement, but to prejudice which imports what is not science, into it, as if unable to contain the clear honest honour of TESTING EVERYTHING! It is because God is back of it all, that this is a pleasant task!
See on this Board and its authoritarian triviality,
The Divine Sublimity ... Ch. 6, and this report.
See on this:
TMR Ch. 5, 7,
The Bright Light and the Uncomprehending Darkness 7,
Deity and Design ... Section 3, *3, 8,
Let's Be Reasonable for God is! Ch 2;
Possess Your Possessions Vol. 9, Ch. 2.
See Holocaust of Morality ... Ch. 5, *1.
See this summary.