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Science and religious Faith,

Frithjof Schuon

There is certainly no reason to admire a science which counts insects and atoms but is ignorant of God; which makes an avowal of not knowing Him and yet claims omniscience by principle. It should be noted that the scientist, like every other rationalist, does not base himself on reason in itself; he calls "reason" his lack of imagination and knowledge, and his ignorances are for him the "data" of reason. [Sufism: Veil and Quintessence, p. 128, note 12].

One of the effects of modern science has been to give religion a mortal wound, by posing in concrete terms problems which only esoterism can resolve; but these problems remain unresolved, because esoterism is not listened to, and is listened to less now than ever. Faced by these new problems, religion is disarmed, and it borrows clumsily and gropingly the arguments of the enemy; it is thus compelled to falsify by imperceptible degrees its own perspective, and more and more to disavow itself. Its doctrine, it is true, is not affected, but the false opinion borrowed from its repudiators corrode it cunningly "from within"; witness, for example, modernist exegesis, the demagogic leveling down of the liturgy, the Darwinism of Teilhard de Chardin, the "worker-priests", and a "sacred art" obedient to surrealist and "abstract" influences. Scientific discoveries prove nothing to contradict the traditional positions of religion, of course, but there is no one at hand to point this out; too many "believers" consider, on the contrary, that it is time that religion "shook off the dust of the centuries", which amounts to saying, that it should "liberate" itself from its very essence and from everything which manifests that essence.

The absence of metaphysical or esoteric knowledge on the one hand, and the suggestive force emanating from scientific discoveries as well as from collective psychoses on the other, make religion an almost defenseless victim, a victim that even refuses more often than not to make use of the arguments at its disposal. It would be nevertheless easy, instead of slipping into the errors of others, to demonstrate that a world fabricated by scientific influences tends everywhere to turn ends into means and means into ends, and that it results either in a mystique of envy, bitterness or hatred, or in a complacent shallow materialism destructive of qualitative distinctions. It could be demonstrated too that science, although in itself neutral, -- for facts are facts -- is none the less a seed of corruption and annihilation in the hands of man, who in general has not enough knowledge of the underlying nature of Existence to be able to integrate -- and thereby to neutralize -- the facts of science in a total view of the world; that the philosophical consequences of science imply fundamental contradictions; and that man has never been so ill-known and so misinterpreted as from the moment when he was subjected to the "X-rays" of a psychology founded on postulates that are radically false and contrary to his nature.[Light on the Ancient Worlds, p. 37-38]