Saturday, January 14, 2006

Physics & Metaphysics - Part 1

I don't know what you might think of the fact that I have links to Theological as well as Physics sites on my blog.

I have been almost equally interested in both and have periodically gone from intense reading, study and thinking on the one subject only to feel some strong psychological need to move over to the other subject. "Why is that?" I ask myself. Well, I don't have the full and final answer but today I think I may have a little more insight.

You see in theology, taking for example the interpretation of a particular biblical verse, it seems to be considered more rigorous scholarship to have been exposed to all the possible explanations that have been given to a passage over the centuries by different people than to actually come to and state a final conclusion about the one single meaning that the passage must have.

With theology, it's not so easy to be assured that one has reached the final and correct answer. You might have the whole gamut of interpretations without coming to any particular final conclusion on any one of them. You might even want to consider the meaning of a passage in a wider textual, historical or philosophical context. Every such effort may even yield incrementally more 'knowledge'. Although there are such things as wrong answers in theology these are far from being commonly obvious otherwise we would all believe the same thing.

But in physics (and perhaps mathematics also) there is cognitive benefit only in the single most complete explanation of any physical phenomenon. Once you have it that is all that will ever be needed with respect to that phenomenon. But theology is not like that.

Why is that? Anybody out there have some insight into any of this?

I'm reading Roy Clouser's book where he deals specifically with examples of theorising in the fields of mathematics, physics and psychology. So far it's an excellent read; no obfuscatory language despite the very abstract subject matter.

I want to think on this and hopefully be able to write a little something about it from a Dooyerwerdian perspective.

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