Where to Look for Guidance? On the Nature of “Religion and Science”
For moral guidance we human beings may be tempted to turn toward the past (scripture, tradition), toward present science, or toward future consequences. Each of these approaches has strengths and limitations. To address those limitations, we need to consider how these various perspectives can be brought together—and “religion and science” is an area in which this may happen. That makes the question of where to look for guidance potentially a central one for religion and science, setting the agenda differently from apologetic questions with respect to religion or to science. However, “religion and science” does not solve the issues, leading to a single normative perspective; the way that current knowledge is integrated with past wisdom is highly dependent upon ideals that relate to the future. Thus, rather than resolving the need for guidance, the religion-and-science conversation becomes one way of addressing our need for guidance, bringing into the conversation past, present, and future.