I was struck by two stories today that made manifest the already obvious fact that the secularists of today will not be happy until every notion of God or faith is banished from the culture. Two of the more visible and defining aspects of any culture are its arts and its science.
The arts and the sciences are not only compatible with faith, but rather owe their very being to the patronage of those with faith in general, and to the Church in particular. The Church’s historical patronage of the arts is well known. In fact, without the Church many of the greatest works in history would never have been and their artists would be forgotten carpenters or smiths. Modern science owes its very being to the Church as it was men of faith that developed the scientific method.
While their is no incompatibility between faith and the arts and sciences, there certainly is antipathy. For the most part, this antipathy goes in one direction. Artists and scientists of today want nothing to do with faith, even if it means their science and their art suffers for it.
Meet award winning composer James MacMillan. He is tired of the open hostility toward faith by “metropolitan arts, cultural and media elites.”
In a lecture at the Royal Institute of British Architects to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Sandford St Martin Trust, a charity which promotes radio and television programmes about religion, he said: “The ignorance-fuelled hostility to religion, widespread among secular liberal elites, is in danger of colouring society’s value-free ‘neutrality’ in ways that are both bland and naïve.
“They are also impractical, unattractive and, I suggest, oppressive. A true sense of difference, in which a genuine pluralism could thrive, is under threat of being reduced to a lowest common denominator of uniformity and conformity, where any non-secular contribution will automatically be regarded as socially divisive by definition.
“A smug ignorance, a gross oversimplification and caricature that serves as an analytical understanding of religion, is the common intellectual currency. The bridge has to be built by Christians and others being firm in resisting increasingly aggressive attempts to still their voices.”
He concluded by saying that our lives will become meaningless unless the “mists of contemporary banality” are penetrated and the idea of the sacred is restored.
As bad as the open hostility is in the world of arts, it pales in comparison to that in the world of science.
Certain observations about the universe are puzzling to scientists as the pieces don’t all fit the generally accepted theory. Time and space seem to move in unusual ways. (Read What Matthew has to say on this theory) Some of those unusual ways could possibly be explained by the theory that the earth is located in a cosmic bubble of low matter density that warps our perspective of those things happening outside the bubble. This theory could possibly explain a number of observations. Now I don’t have any idea whether the theory is true or not, but I do know that some scientist do not want to answer that question base on the fear that it might be correct.
Why would scientists be wary of any theory that could explain observable results? Well, this particular theory requires the area of the universe in which we live to be “special.” Scientists cannot stomach the idea that the earth and consequently mankind might be special. That kind of mumbo jumbo was jettisoned in the dark ages, no?
One problem with the void idea, though, is that it negates a principle that has reigned in astronomy for more than 450 years: namely, that our place in the universe isn’t special. When Nicholas Copernicus argued that it made much more sense for the Earth to be revolving around the sun than vice versa, it revolutionized science. Since then, most theories have to pass the Copernican test. If they require our planet to be unique, or our position to be exalted, the ideas often seem unlikely.
“This idea that we live in a void would really be a statement that we live in a special place,” Clifton told SPACE.com. “The regular cosmological model is based on the idea that where we live is a typical place in the universe. This would be a contradiction to the Copernican principle.”
See, If we are special the natural questions follow. Why are we special? To whom are we special? Better to avoid these questions altogether, even if the science suffers as a result.
Remarkably, these artists and scientist, while cutting off their noses to spite their faces, fancy themselves the enlightened ones. Funny how that works, isn’t it.