Monday, April 7, 2014


As Bernard Shaw cleverly put it in his preface to Androcles and the Lion: "Jesus's teaching has nothing to do with miracles. If his mission had been simply to demonstrate a new method of restoring lost eyesight, the miracle of curing the blind would have been entirely relevant. But to say 'You should love your enemies; and to convince you of this I will now proceed to cure this gentleman of cataract' would have been, to a man of Jesus's intelligence, the proposition of an idiot."

But for Shaw science was not different from religion, in the sense that without an ethical framework, it meant nothing but jaw-dropping miracles without any wisdom to be gained from them. Hence, the following parallelism from Back to Methuselah

"When the priests themselves ceased to believe in their Deity and began to believe in astronomy, they changed their name and their dress, and called themselves doctors and men of science. They set up a new religion in which there was no Deity, but only wonders and miracles, with scientific instruments and apparatus as the wonder workers. Instead of worshipping the greatness and wisdom of the Deity, men gaped foolishly at the million billion miles of space and worshipped the astronomer as infallible and omniscient. They built temples for his telescopes. [...] Thus our discoveries instead of increasing our wisdom, only destroyed the little childish wisdom we had. All I can grant you is that they increased our knowledge."

Tissot Daniel in the Lion's Den

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