Author Information:Lyudmila Markova, Russian Academy of Sciences, email@example.com
Image credit: Waiting For The Word, via flickr
Thank you, Adam, for such a quick response to my comment. Unfortunately, I am not an expert regarding the philosophical understanding of religion. Many years ago I published a book about the border between religion and science, but now the time and the problems are quite different. Nevertheless, I need to know the current state of affairs in this area as I begin to write an article (in Russian) about the Islamic religion, science and philosophy. An impetus for this work was the discussion on the SERRC about the relationships between Islam and science. I plan also to write a comment for the SERRC.
In my opinion, philosophy does not care whether we deal with a personal God, or with another of God’s incarnations. In any case, I am not sure God is responsible for all evil on the earth and this is well. I shall try to explain why I think so.
If God prevented every possible evil, humans might not be good or bad—all people would be, in a sense, the same. People would not be able to distinguish evil from the good, since evil would not exist. Everything that is good for me must be good for everybody else. Is this possible? The whole structure of moral norms must be changed and, as a result, the world created by God would not exist. If we are made in the image of God, we should remember that Christ suffered and made a decision—he chose good, not evil. Each human must also take responsibility for their own actions, for their choices, and not shift them to God. Religion should be found inside the believer, not the believer inside of religion.
A very rough parallel can be seen between religion and science. Recently, Steve Fuller and many others wrote about new ways of distributing scientific knowledge in society among people, including people not connected directly with science. The issue is not one about the results of scientific research. Rather, we are talking about the ways by which we obtain scientific knowledge. Everyone, in one way or another, reproduces the research process. With religion, believers reproduce in their soul the trials of Christ and try to make a right choice. The decision must be their own.
That is why I cannot agree with you, Adam, when you write: “Our dialogue with God is a fight, a battle … God owes us the explanation—even if there has to be a fist fight”. Do not be so severe with God. I am not religious but, in this case, I would like to defend God.