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TA 106 (Müller)

 

Response 11 (to McCarthy, C27)

 

EVOLUTION  AND  RELIGION  
by Herbert FJ Müller
1 May 2008, posted 10 May 2008

 

[1]
Your note ‘evolution at play’ is a stimulating essay about the relation between religion and evolution.  I am sure that one can arrive at various schemes of the type which you present, and that a conflict is not necessary, despite Dawkins & al.  The problems arise mainly from dogmatic fixations, and from misinterpretations like Dawkins’ insistence that the existence of God is a question to be answered by mind-exclusive objective natural science. 

 

[2]
The latter were discussed in my TA106; the former are exemplified in your description of the Byzantine dogmatic squabbles in <4> and <5>.  Dogmas are important for church leaders.  Consider for instance the recent visit of the Pope to the United States, where he was shown shaking hands with Jewish and Moslem clergy.  This is indeed an important development for humanity – provided such approaches can go further than shaking hands.  On all sides they will need to overcome enormous dogmatic and political-organizational obstacles.  (The Vatican has in principle accepted the validity of biological evolution, in contrast to some of the fundamentalist protestant sects.) 

 

[3]
I guess what I am trying to say is :  an individual like you can make all sorts of personal connections, without being handicapped by dogma.  But this is quite different at the level of religious organizations, though hope is always allowed.

 

[4]
A question about <6> :  the kingdom of Lothar (Lotharingia), as defined in the treaty of Verdun, 843, stretched from the North Sea cost of Holland and Friesland through the Rhine and Rhone valleys to the Ligurian coast, and included also northern Italy down to Rome.  But it lasted only until about 870, and was then divided into several parts, including Brabant in the north and Burgundy in its southern part.  Later only a small part of this territory retained the name of Lorraine.  The division of Charlemagne’s empire was to my knowledge due to his wish to give a kingdom to each of his three sons, including the emperorship for Lothar, the eldest.  I had not been aware of a ‘spiritual’ dimension of this political development, the relation to the trinity which you mention.  Is this your personal interpretation, or do you have historical references for this view ?

 

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Herbert FJ Müller
     e-mail <herbert.muller (at) mcgill.ca>