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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %OCCASIONS CONFLICTS TEACHINGS COMMANDMENTS DEVILS 030503 %LEADERS RESPECTED LEADERS RELIGIOUS SCIENTIFIC GOD 030503 In what occasions do major conflicts arise between the teachings/commandments of generally respected religious leaders --- and those of generally respected members of scientific communities? There are some religious and scientific leaders who are contentious and "looking for a fight". There is no intent here to speak to the important questions about mental health which their contentious behaviors raise. There have been conflicts between apparently healthy religious and scientific leaders --- which have involved people who seem to be healthy, sincere, intelligent, well informed, civil, generally gracious, etc. Can we clarify the natures of the conflicts which such evidently healthy people have found themselves in? 1. On some occasions religious leaders have taken official positions which contradicted, challenged, or sought to repress the teachings of reputable scientists. The most famous/notorious of these is the position which the Roman Catholic Church held for a few centuries in regards to the teachings of Galileo starting when he described the motions through space and time of the planets and moons within the solar system. The religious leaders presumed to try to regulate the reporting of scientific work which described objective realities: and ultimately made fools of themselves and discredited themselves in the eyes of well informed and intelligent modern people. Whenever any one kind of specialist tries to dominate/control complementary kinds of specialists --- some tragic errors are likely to be made! 2. On some occasions scientists who have been narrowly trained only in dealing with objective realities --- have slipped over into making pronouncements about what people SHOULD do (morality), what priorities SHOULD be chosen (politics), what the nature of ULTIMATE REALITY is (theology), and what are the ultimate POSSIBILITIES FOR HUMANS (escatology). When narrowly specialized people presume, or are presumed, to speak authoritatively --- some tragic errors are likely to be made! 3. There have been occasions in which political leaders who have no significant background in the exact sciences or in religious considerations --- have presumed to speak as having authority/power to speak properly on scientific and/or religious matters. The consequences of their pretentious "authoritative" actions have uniformly been tragic. They often act-out the convictions of people who hold very provincial views of science and/or religious realities. Martin Marty and others have published extensive studies of the nature of fundamentalists' efforts around the world. In the above kinds of situations --- arguments across the divides between specialties are not likely to yield clarifications of what is the nature of the divides between them. The real natures of the conflicts are not likely to be clarified --- because the specialists are likely to be speaking exclusively from within their own isolated "boxes", and discern only in distorted ways what is being said inside the "other boxes". Specialists are not very good at transcending their mutually exclusive specialties! They cannot discern the natures of the filters through which they themselves perceive the nature of themselves, of others, of their filters, or of reality. Arrogance and self- righteousness tend to blind people! See the essays about the "five cultures". (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================