|Quid est Veritas. by Nikolai Ge|
"Pilate therefore said to Him, 'Are You a king then?'
Jesus answered, 'You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.'
Pilate said to Him, 'What is truth?' And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, 'I find no fault in Him at all.' " John 18:37-38 (KJV)
"... it is still a metaphysical faith on which our faith in science rests--that even we knowers of today, we godless anti-metaphysicians still take our fire too, from the flame lit by the thousand-year old faith, the Christian faith which was also Plato's faith, that God is Truth; that Truth is 'Divine' [emphasis added]" Friedrich Nietzsche, "On the Genealogy of Morality"Last night I dreamt that I was judge, prosecutor, defense attorney and defendant in a trial about my conversion to the Catholic faith. Here, as best as I can recall (having fudged the details) is an account of that trial. (I'm not learned in the law, and it was a dream, so ...legal beagles, please excuse the deviations from procedure.)*
Not satisfied with debasing himself, he has attempted to corrupt others by posting articles in his blog purporting that Science gives only a limited view of reality (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 , 10). Further, he has perverted Science by trying to reconcile the teachings of the Catholic Church with modern scientific theories, particularly those of quantum mechanics (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17).
Finally, the defendant has invaded the sphere of public policy, claiming that morality trumps public interest. His Catholic ideology. with its peculiar notion that human life is endowed by a supposed Creator, requires him to oppose policies for reproductive choice and ending suffering of the aged, policies supported by science and social justice (1, 2, 3, 4).
For these offenses and others too unspeakable to mention, we demand that the defendant be banned from blogging and sentenced to hard time in a room where he will encounter his secret fear**.
Comment (defense attorney): Gee, there seems to be some missing elements in your answer. What's the theory; how do you define who would be in the sample--music critics, teen-agers, or ???; and what would be...
Interjection (judge): You're getting off-track, Theologian. Get to the point!
Reply (defense attorney): My apologies, M'Lord****. I was trying to show that science is not competent except in a very limited sphere and therefore cannot criticize the defendant for saying that science gives a limited view of reality. It is not competent to make judgments in aesthetics, ethics, or any other matter which can't be subjected to replicated quantitative assay.
Question (defense attorney): You've said that the defendant has foresworn his devotion to reason and truth. Do you say that only science has reason and truth?
Response (prosecutor): Well, I'd say that's the opinion of many scientists. (Laughter in the court). OK, that's a joke, but maybe not so much. Science has given results that have made men's lives better and shown them what the universe is like. What has religion done for men?
Question (defense attorney): You didn't answer my question, so I'll repeat it.
Does science have a monopoly on reason and truth.
Response (prosecutor): I plead the Fifth Amendment--refuse to testify on the grounds I'll incriminate myself.
Comment (defense attorney): I'll answer for you. There are a host of theologians and philosophers who have used reason to discover truth, from the ancient Greek philosophers--Aristotle and Plato--through the Catholic saints--Augustine and Thomas Aquinas--on up to present time.
Interjection (judge): Mr. Kurland, that last comment was entirely out of order (although I agree with it). Be careful or I'll eject you from the court.
Reply (defense attorney): M,Lord, Judge Kurland, just to keep the record straight, my title is Dr. Kurland.
Question (defense attorney): You've said that the defendant has attempted to reconcile the ideals of his new-found faith with the corruption of fallible humans in the Catholic Church hierarchy. Could you be more explicit about that corruption?
Response (prosecutor): Well, you'd have to go back to the Renaissance, the Borgias and all those, and the Inquisition, and also those pederastic priests.
Comment (defense attorney): I'll invoke what Queen Kristina of Sweden said after her conversion to the faith: "The Catholic faith must be true since the Church has survived so many bad people." And your comment about the Inquisition and "pederastic priests" has been rebutted by others*****.
Question (defense attorney): You said the defendant has attempted to reconcile the teachings of the Catholic Church with contemporary science, including quantum mechanics. Can you point out any errors in the science he has discussed?
Response (prosecutor): No I can't, but I bet there are some.
Question (defense attorney): You said that the defendant has published articles against public policy on abortion and euthanasia. How does science show that public policies promoting abortion and euthanasia would be correct?
Response (prosecutor): I can't in a limited space answer that question.
Comment (defense attorney): In other words, you can't answer the question and the charge is not justified.
**Shades of 1984! My secret fear is being forced to eat gourmet food cooked by chefs who are "Chopped" judges. What's yours?
***I told you this dream did not proceed according to standard legal procedures.
****The judge is also me, but the dream is in an English court so he is wearing a wig and addressed as "M'Lord. (I'd been watching reruns of "Rumpole of the Bailey" that evening.)
*****See Myths about Priestly Pedophilia, Google Search Myths about Inquisition