a comment on "the atheon"
Religion and science are different pursuits. Science ultimately desires to know “how” and religion is the pursuit of “why”? Superconductors might very well duplicate a mini-big-bang, but are not designed to reflect on the motivation for creation. Denying the existence of God is, in effect, denying that which cannot be measured. Denying the existence of God is denying the mystery of infinity. Science is a part of religion in that, with every scientific advance, we understand the universe just a bit better, and therefore reanalyze inherited traditions, fusing our daily rituals with reflective thinking.
Mr. Keats is quoted in the press release for Atheon as saying, “If people are to find spirituality in science, it’s likely to be by immersing themselves in questions.” He has, in effect, missed the point of faith traditions. Every one of them is a spiritual framework for existential questions. Doubt in science is healthy. So is doubt in God. What do I mean when I use the term God? Is it, as Mordechai Kaplan said, “the power that makes for salvation?” Is George Lucas tapping into something sublime with his labeling this power, which can be used for good or for evil, “the force?” I believe so.
An Atheon, if it leads people to do good in the world, is a good thing. But if the premise is that questions only emerge through scientific inquiry, it is based on a mistake and might be just a new form of unhealthy zealotry.
rabbi menachem creditor
congregation netivot shalom