Professor Alexei Osipov: Without Christianity we turn into creatures that will destroy themselves

What is the reason that modern science and philosophy can't satisfy a man? Why true progress of mankind in these areas is impossible without recourse to Orthodoxy? To these and other questions Professor of the Moscow theological Academy Alexey Osipov said in his lecture "Science, philosophy and religion" (house of culture ZIL, 1999). We offer readers "Pravmir" the text of the lecture and its audio recording.

For our time the problem of the relation of religion, philosophy and science is very crucial, requiring careful consideration and appropriate conclusions. This topic we have discussed in Dubna at the annual conferences, and there were very interesting discussions and sometimes passionate debates.

Why do I consider this issue relevant? For anybody not a secret that our world is on the brink of global catastrophe. Also all accepted the fact that the leading ideological forces now are science, philosophy and religion. They are the light which is the modern world, and they have led our world to this tragic situation. This is the paradox.

What is the reason? The reasons can be a lot, but one of them, which should pay attention. In recent years, these three spiritual forces were scattered. Moreover, they were in opposition to each other. Religion for some time now has been regarded as a phenomenon unscientific, obsolete, not enlightens man, but rather usher him into the darkness of ignorance.

He believes the West

Why is this problem urgent? The first is a philosophical problem. Since the era of the New time, especially since the Enlightenment and especially the French revolution, religion became subject to the most intense discredit. Nineteenth and twentieth century marched under the banner of the struggle against religion. We know that we have had. Do not think that the West is better – there are just different forms. In my experience, I've been there many times: there's atheism has a worse shape than us.

We are atheism was militant, and often he accordingly caused a nasty reaction. There atheism is a form of materialism, and materialism is not just ideological, but practical. There is this rooted materialism of the human soul, the whole meaning of life is involved. Religion itself there took the path of secularism, spiritual values just disappear, they just don't understand. Those sparks of spiritual understanding, the spiritual interest which we have saved, because I have interest in the patristic legacy, there pushed into the shadows, they just don't know: these values are replaced with new saints, new values replaced by the secularization of Church life.

The religion of the West can now be defined as: "Seek first of all, what to eat, what to drink and what to wear, and the Kingdom of God shall be added unto you". Forgot that above the ceiling is something else, all is only this life. View of the papal Encyclical: the word "spirituality" is used, as elsewhere now, but we are talking about the economy, about social justice, about education, about poverty, about everything that should take care of the state. The Church has quite another function: though she may care about things that nobody cares about the human soul? No, the whole soul is in it, the three-dimensional measurement.

That's one of the realities of our time. If religion is pushed, then the whole life obespechivaetsya. The very distorted world view, all the objectives and funds are directed only into the land. On all fours goes the modern man, again are the words of Scripture: "Man in honour, who do not mind prologise cattle fools, and upogebia them." Goes great excuse for materialism, materialism has become a religion.

It becomes clear the number 666, referred to as the name of the Antichrist. In the Third book of kings we find that Solomon, who was king of a tiny country received annually 666 talents of gold. A talent of gold is about 120 pounds. This number was the symbol of glory, power, greatness. John the Evangelist was well aware of that, so called the name of the Antichrist: here is the essence of enslavement of man, here there is a complete separation of man from God.

So the practical side of life shifts in worldview. There is a gap between the genuine aspirations of religion and science with philosophy.

The second reason: a powerful scientific and technical progress and achieving a high standard of living, at least in civilized countries, has led to the fact that the beginning of the Christian life go. If we, contrary to agnosticism, recognize that God is truth and that this truth can be revealed to the person if we recognize that Christ is the revealed truth in our earthly world, then we must recognize that this truth can be one. We need to abandon the strange "smeared" approach, according to which religions are considered to be different approaches to the same truth. Or should we say that truth is, and it is open in Christ, or it doesn't open, and we remain as blind kittens.

Where a boom tourism? – Run away anywhere

This spiritual problem speaks volumes. The separation of the Christian worldview from the achievements of the civilized world led to the paradoxical phenomena. On the one hand, achieved a complete materialist Paradise, with the other statistics says that in this civilized world there is a deep degradation of the psyche. Dramatically increase mental disorders, suicide – wealthy people lose the meaning of life. All have meet there. Where a boom tourism? – Some distractions can't be with yourself. Ie people – it's not fine, not good, run away anywhere.

One of the statistics says that more than half of people in the West have lost the meaning of life and do not find satisfaction in anything. Something struck inside any spiritual problems, which will not patch up any money.

This is a problem in earnest. Where she is and why? From a Christian point of view it is absolutely obvious that people have forgotten who Christ, have forgotten what Christianity is, and no matter what they call themselves: Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox – if I write the Orthodox, that does not mean that those are. Need to know what it is. The Roman Church has always been Orthodox, and remains the title be Catholic, i.e. Catholic, however, Orthodoxy's where we, alas, do not see. It is not in signs, but in essence.

Forgot why people live

Another issue that clearly demonstrates why and what causes this rift between religion and these two branches is an environmental issue. The pursuit of pleasure, wealth, power – that quest, it seems, has always had a place in some category of persons, but what is happening now, is incomparable to previous eras, because there was no such technical means of propaganda of these phenomena, to inflame these passions. Passion can ignite, propaganda is of paramount importance. Why so eager to capture the media? – Who took the reigns over the minds, souls and Nations.

In this pursuit of pleasure, power, wealth forgot the most important: why do people live. So rapidly started to develop science and technology that in the pursuit of pleasures have brought themselves to suicide. The environmental problem now is the number one problem. Threatened life itself on Earth. Forget about moral and religious values, I forgot about life itself.

These problems demonstrate that science, philosophy and religion (Christianity) needs to change the relationship with each other. But how to combine seemingly incompatible?

When we talk about science and philosophy, we mean the people themselves because they do not exist. It seems clear that one goal – the good of mankind. To this we must all strive. It seems a simple solution, but as soon as we get to understand this benefit, it turns out that these things are understood in philosophy alone, in science – other, in Orthodoxy – the third. The one word meanings are, alas, quite different.

In search of happiness

Looks like science on these issues? If we are to understand science all the knowledge of mankind, then we will have to include and religion, and all. No, we will understand science, which is usually opposed to religion. Science under good understands the full and final knowledge of the world. This is the maximum knowledge with the goal of achieving power over the world, is an achievement that will make a person actually a deity in this world, that's what, ultimately, is a science. Will fly into space, will achieve immortality, make the deities in this world.

This is not an empty fantasy or a slogan, it is a Declaration, the keynote of, this fixed everything. Sounds nice, except the purpose of seductive.

But is there any evidence that scientific knowledge can indeed lead to this? No, no no. It's a dream, a hope, but an evidence-based justification no.

Is there any compelling evidence that the happiness that comes as a result of this knowledge, will be really good for mankind? Now the vast majority will respond negatively. We are witnessing the process of concentration of real power in the hands of an increasingly narrow circle of people, as in individual States and on a global scale, and those for which the people are completely indifferent. Already calculated that good can only exist the “Golden billion”. Where are other people? It doesn't matter. There are many means to destroy the excess.

What spiritual state derive those calculations? What these people are capable of? These circles are narrowed, they occur even more narrow circles. If we start from the Christian revelation, these narrow circles will end the only person – then comes the final death of all mankind, of all living things. Despite the fact metallic computer voice that we hear now in the calculations of many sociologists, it is scary for the fate of the future, and present generations.

More is not needed, a cog, a machine able to do something or other. Need a creative machine, capable of inventing what you need. So for the sake sake then worked as a scientific idea? Workers are working, idealistic, beautiful people – the result? The trouble is, if we are thinking that building a Palace, build a prison, a prison that has never been in humanity. Was prison in a separate peoples, States, but a prison on a global scale has not happened.

If we ask science about “the good”, before which we stand, she's either silent, or says “well, believe me, everything will be fine”. But life shows otherwise.

Scientific findings may not reflect objective reality has moved in the past is the understanding that science reflects the world as it is, that there is hope for an adequate knowledge of this world. Now we are not talking about the adequacy, and utility models of the world. What kind of world we leave behind is not the question, the question of the truthfulness of the now – is lievore. Which model is the best which gives the greatest effect. As academician Berg said, “Truth is what is useful”.

What is truth?

Philosophy, unlike science, sees the benefit in the knowledge of the truth. Philosophy is a science is essentially rational, the truth, ultimately, is the fruit of our logical reasoning, built on certain postulates, and using quality material our words, concepts. No wonder they say: how many philosophers and so many philosophies. The tenets may be different, the truth of the logical conclusion now it's unlikely anyone will meet. Because different packages have different conclusions. And how can you talk about the authenticity of the packages? What is the meaning of our words and concepts? Philosophy seeks the truth in the way of what in philosophy is called discursive thinking.

Any philosophical system, even if it pretends to be a system – I'm talking about classic systems, not those that appeared now – immediately gets into a difficult position. The search for truth happens on the way human reasoning. I can prove my thinking to be true? Nothing, I'm your thinking can only be judged by his thinking. A vicious circle. Or should we find some principles lying outside of us, and based on, or if we do not want to operate on, then get into this vicious circle of the inability to validate their thinking using their thinking.

Those concepts are used in philosophy, is very vague and uncertain. What is life, person, being, spirit, God, freedom? Heisenberg was right when he said that those concepts which we use, can not be accurately determined. Therefore, with the help of rational thinking we can never come to the knowledge of the absolute truth.

Every word, different meanings. How can we argue? “Methodist,” who is this? The one who teaches technique. Another will say: no, it's a religious denomination.

If you take philosophy as a system, starting with gödel, our scientific and philosophical thought was in a tragic situation. In his second theorem on the incompleteness of formal systems, gödel just showed that no system can prove its truth, not going beyond itself. We are in the framework of uncertainty, the philosophy of science can offer us nothing certain. She needs to get over itself, but where?..

The benefit of that philosophy, the search for truth is a big question. The question asked by Pilate: “What is truth?” He was tempted in this. Greek philosophy has taken an interesting path of development from milette to the Stoics, the Platonists, – though the latter did not yet exist, but stoicism was one of the leading systems. And skepticism as such showed with all the power that telling the truth is not necessary, we don't know what we're talking about a IKS.

Well philosophy says that good is the search for truth, but when the question arises, “what is truth” – philosophy pauses. Contemporary philosophy has ceased even to put this question, took up other issues: philosophy of culture, existentialism, they try to understand the essence of being is from the other side without touching the ontology, realizing only at the phenomenal level. Philosophy of culture examines the culture, and trying to draw conclusions about a person from this study: what it is, what lives.

This phenomenological approach gives nothing. Existentialism and the whole immersed in itself, in the person completely isolates himself from life itself, because being hostile. As a result, we are without life, and without truth.

So, if science cannot provide an evidence-based justification for their truth, if philosophy is, as at all times, is something indefinite, vague, and essentially not able to say specific, credible, unwittingly, we turn to the third reality, the spiritual force of religion.

That Orthodoxy gives us?

The first question here – what kind of religion are we talking about? What can be said of Christianity that it calls good? Unlike science and philosophy, Orthodoxy says that the benefit is not just the knowledge of this created world is not some truth to which we cannot touch. Orthodoxy says about specific things, and not those that are a figment of the imagination or those that are conclusions of reason. It argues that this truth is, it exists objectively, independently of our consciousness, our cognitive process. This truth is God.

God is recognized by many religions, but Christianity says that, of course, partly we know God and through consideration of the world, but God, who is incomprehensible in His essence, reveals Himself in His actions. But while Christianity claims that in the fullness of the human being, He has revealed Himself in God the Word incarnate. The second person of the Godhead United with humanity, and in this way showed found that there is a truth accessible to our human knowledge and understanding.

All religions were created myths about the appearance of God in our world, the possibility of contact between God and man, but without the religion there. Christianity is not talking about fleeting contact – something happened which did not know any religion ever: there was a strange, but asserted as a fact in the gospel: there is yet unmerged, unchanged, undivided, inseparable Union of deity with humanity.

Just one of this thesis, to argue that Christianity is the true religion. Anyone who has studied the history of ancient, ancient thought, religious and philosophical, knows that such a truth is nowhere and never was. The gods were embodied in different ways: Jupiter was embodied in the bull, and Golden rain, and in person – it meant that he appeared because of this. The deities took different forms, changed them, had disappeared, but it was not a real incarnation. No wonder one Egyptian priest was said: our gods are not going to make the human flesh really is. All these incarnations have been fantastic.

Krishna incarnated" five thousand years ago and lived on earth: 8 wives, 16 concubines thousand, 180 thousand sons. All these incarnations were creations of the human imagination, they expressed various human passions, images, stories and myths.

Christianity claims that God actually took a real human nature: mortal, able to suffer actually – suffered, died, really rose again and really.

Why were embodied all those gods from the history of religions? For different, for example, for the passions, even the most shameful. Often these gods were mythological expression of the processes of nature, as the dying and resurrecting gods of Egypt and Asia Minor. Spring awakening, autumn is dying.

Here Jesus Christ says: “my Father knows Me”, praying: “father, let pass from Me this Cup” – cross shouts: “my God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” This Christ says: “I and the Father are one,” “he who has Seen Me has seen the Father”. When He say: you make yourself God, " He said.

Paradoxical assertions, which in our rational thinking do not agree with each other. Approved manhood who didn't know the entire history of ancient human thought. The gospel is written in the simplest language that is understandable even to children. And scientists, philosophers marvel at the depth of thought.

When you see the same thing – there is a conspiracy

Who wrote the gospel? – Most ordinary people, that when Christ says beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, they say: Oh, I forgot to take bread. The parable of the sower please explain. When Christ says that not make a person unclean, what comes in and what comes out is they don't understand. The level of development of their intelligence is obvious, it is not philosophers. The language of the gospel testifies to this, and then suddenly communicate such truths, which the philosophers themselves fainting from the heights of these truths.

And The Resurrection? When Paul declared this Sunday, the response was unequivocal: “we will Hear you another time”. But to say that God can incarnate to suffer and die? – Still not fit it into the consciousness of humanity. The Apostle Paul therefore wrote: “We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling Greeks madness.”

There are still a number of objective facts that prove that Christianity is not the fruit of the earth, not the result of the gradual development of a religious consciousness – only revelation could tell about it. The only real fact was transferable evangelists, they sometimes did not understand what was written, they honestly told that.

There are even contradictions in the gospel: there is how many times the cock crowed when Peter denied, how much was the demoniac of the Gadarenes – one or two. And none for two thousand years, not cleaned, not fixed – handed as it is.

Ask any lawyer: that these discrepancies are the most convincing proof of the authenticity of evidence. When you see the same thing – there is a conspiracy.

The message of the gospel credible reports. We see, on the one hand, the simplicity and directness of presentation, on the other – stunning truths that they could not think of any philosopher did not come never mind what is written in the gospel.

Christianity claims that the truth is God incarnate. The truth is what it really is. Much of what is there today and gone tomorrow. The truth of course is that invariably, something is always there. When we know how it really is, then we can do the right thing, and following that actually, we get what we strive for. And when we don't know how actually, you can fall into error. Instead of expensive houses will fall into a swamp from which there may not be and exit.

Christianity claims that truth is the good of man. The good revealed to us in Christ: in Him there was a connection with the deity of man. This is the closest connection, in which a person does not disappear, as in Hinduism, does not dissolve into nothingness and revealed in the fullness of all that is inherent in man. And if indeed it connects the humanity in the deity, if God is the greatest and ultimate good that can only aspire to people, then it is clear that in Christ is the truth and is the greatest good.

There is a real Truth, not the future knowledge of the world, when we're chelovekami, not abstract truth, which tells the philosophy of, no, it is Christ.

We see the uncovering of this truth in the Orthodox Church, for the essence of human life is in communion with this truth, bringing to the humanity of Christ. The Apostle Paul says: “the Church is the Body of Christ, you are members of Christ's Body, your task is the increasing to the full measure of the stature of Christ”.

The truth is, the question now is: how can I learn her how to become a member of this Body. The most important question: about the path of spiritual life. At all times this was an important question, especially now, when there is a stunning spill of mysticism. But it's not the sects, the sectarian points, as even our Synod I have to say. It's not even the priests and lastarza, gathers those who hate everyone and everything – the fact that this mysticism can penetrate into the human soul and to destroy those walls, thresholds through which it is impossible to break the man, for the destruction it will lead to the destruction of the human soul.

Strict laws of spiritual life

Orthodoxy shows the right path of spiritual life, but what is that way, what criteria, what is the difference of Orthodoxy from false Christianity? I speak for dozens of years and Protestants and Catholics: when we start talking about the criteria for spiritual life? Modern man's spiritual life seems to be some personal feelings, enthusiasm, personal prayer, which is unknown: correct. Live as if have no the road: where the wind blew our delight, there we and rolled, like tumbleweed.

Christianity has strict laws of spiritual life, there are criteria for right and wrong path, but this issue we do the least.

That could give the Orthodox science and philosophy? First and most importantly, if scientific and technological progress and philosophical thought, and a deviation from Orthodoxy led us to the modern crisis: ecological, moral – therefore, the first thing you need to pay attention and scientist, and philosopher: in his research, not to forget the moral and spiritual norms that define Christianity.

It offers a mean for the scientist and the philosopher's criterion, not everyone will agree with him: we must limit their research to the framework that are called moral boundaries. It is impossible to do science for science experiments for the sake of experimentation, knowledge should be limited. As one of the saints said: “the Mind needs to have a measure of knowledge, not to die.”

Is the so-called unlimited freedom, – that is to say the tyranny – scientific research and philosophical research, aesthetic creativity, has led us to ecological crisis, to the anti-culture, antemurale, and all under the flag of science and philosophy. We have reached what will soon be facing the reality of Frankenstein: these soulless robots who will command the world. We have come to this, only robots are people born naturally. It's even worse when a man loses his soul. Without self-restraint d activities, we will destroy ourselves and the world.

Remember Oppenheimer? Was the test an atomic bomb, but did not know then what will become of humanity. There was a fear: do not start a chain reaction, and do not turn our Land into another small sun in a few moments time. I would call this the "Oppenheimer effect" – a terrible thing.

Orthodoxy speaks directly to what is good and what is bad, and there is every reason to believe him.

The second thing to note: when referring to the Orthodox science and philosophy, would have acquired a clear goal and direction, and the higher meaning of research. God is love, therefore my work, my research needs to be directed to only one target – I have to think: will it be good for all mankind. That criterion is the principle of love. No love, no God, no Christ, no man. In what direction should develop the scientific and philosophical thought. Without it all turning into a moral chaos.

It seems to me that the agreement between these three ways – scientific, philosophical and religious – would play an important role in creating a healthy climate in society in the spiritual and intellectual sphere of life. This consent is important in the sphere of upbringing, education, culture. Without Christianity, we would be like the antediluvian creatures that will destroy themselves.

Isolation of science and philosophy from Orthodoxy, as history shows, leads to destruction of the integrity and multi-dimensional vision of our world and of man himself. Currently, there is no possibility of dialogue between the three branches of the human spirit, it would be a sin not to take advantage of this. It usually say to the representatives of philosophy and science: need to turn to Christianity before its too late times are reduced, everything goes from an acceleration that has to be repeated: he who hesitates is lost.published


P. S. And remember, just changing your mind — together we change the world! ©



See also

New and interesting