Skip to comments.structuralism vs functionalism in the science vs religion dichotomy
Posted on 09/08/2020 11:24:53 AM PDT by CharlesOConnell
Peter Kreeft, a philosophy prof at Boston College, has the charism of talking across normally impenetrable borders, so, he's a Christian who talks to Atheists, and respects them.
He's criticizing George Lucas' 'Star Wars' philosophy. This is at a podcast at http://peterkreeft.com/audio/44_star-wars/peter-kreeft_star-wars.mp3 queued to about 23:05.
He's talking about classifying magic, technology, religion and science, in terms of either a structuralist or a functionalist, a static or a dynamic perspective. The ordering of the list of 4 things above is an attempt to be agnostic about which of the 4 things are put into pairs.
A standard, static-structuralist arrangement is for science and technology to be in 1 box, and religion and magic to be in another.
I stopped the tape, and tried to make my own dynamic-functionalist arrangement against the grain. I came up with
What do you think?
Science is practiced as religion.
Technology is functionally magic.
I think you can pair them up any way you want. But rarely would you see science, technology and religion vs magic. Three to one combinations rarely work. Technology is a sub set of science but is magic a subset of religion? Or is it the other way round? They are also like tag team pairs in a wrestling match where science and technology are up against religion and magic. And the tag team pair can fight among themselves as well. In which case, for example, religion might call out to science to help him against magic.
But I think all these terms can support each other so that there is no rivalry. For example, science rivaled religion at one point in history. Now science is coming to religion’s defense by giving evidence for a God or a Creator: 1) big bang theory, 2) intelligent design argument, 3) the universe is too young to have its high level of order arise out of accident and randomness. So I think anyway to arrange them is possible.
I’m a big Kreeft fan. Got a couple of his apologetics books on my shelf. Haven’t listened to his podcast lately— thanks for this.
Thanks for posting this! Looking forward to listening.
He's criticizing George Lucas' 'Star Wars' philosophy.
I've got a bad feeling about this. /rimshot
Red Letter Media has a hilarious (if obscene) take on the prequels via a character called Mr. Plinkett.
Takedowns of Disney StarWars (mostly very thoughtful and not just hatchet jobs) include:
and much much more.
Structuralism might have Science and Religion in one box, and Scientific Method and Rites/Prayers in another, i.e. the organizing principles in one box and the methods in another.
You could also have Science and Religion in one box, and Technology and Moral Codes / Saved Souls in the other if you are looking at the products of the two realms.
And for a functionalist point of view you would just put Science in with technology, and Religion in with Moral Codes / Saved Souls.
I don't really see how magic enters in. It seems to be a slight to religion as I'm thinking the person who came up with the group of four probably wants to associate Science with technology leaving Religion stuck with magic.
There are two types of magic: real magic and legerdemain. If we are talking about real magic then we are either talking about miracles or the occult. If we are talking about legerdemain then we are really just talking about a well-honed skill.
Religion may lead to prayers which may lead to miracles. Occult religions may lead to spells which lead to dark magic. But in both cases these are the exception to the rule. Whether a person is involved in a "good" religion or an occult one, I would imagine that miracles and spells play a relatively minor role compared to the theology, regular rites and practices, and the workaday experiences of believers who find that most of their prayers and/or spells never seem to come to fruition.
The originals were at least entertaining.
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