Science, Religion and Tolerance

Helmut Moritz

From the Foreword:

The following pages continue my book Science, Mind and the Universe: An Introduction to Natural Philosophy (Heidelberg 1995) to the topic of religion; however, they can be read independently of that book. Primarily I wrote them to order my own ideas. Still, they might be of interest to other people who like to think along similar lines. So I decided to place the text on the internet as a PDF file for easy download.

Since the 10 years from the time I have written that book, I have tried to study Karl Rahner and his philosophical forerunner, Immanuel Kant, and to understand Hegel from a theological point of view.

I have been trained, by my background as a geodesist occupied with highly precise observations, to see inaccuracies and uncertainties, however small, in all observations and all definitions, however accurate. Mathematics is precise, but in its application to nature is affected by uncertainties described by the error theory basically developed by C. F. Gauss, the princeps mathematicorum, when he performed geodetic observations.

This basic uncertainty in human thinking pervades all human language, all natural sciences in the forms of Gauss and Heisenberg uncertainties, philosophy, and even mathematics, in the form of Gödel's theorem. In my opinion, it is present also in theology: even divine revelation, when naturally expressed through the imperfect medium of human language, becomes affected by uncertainty. This may contribute to a better understanding of the problem of tolerance.

I used English in which I have written all my professional books, in order to reach the international scientific community. I tried to be as simple and readable as possible, so as to address all people interested in the topic (but not necessarily practicing a certain religion). A general high-school background is amply sufficient.

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