Science and beliefs (was: the gods)

bpj at bpj at
Wed May 28 13:30:23 UTC 1997

>At 11:41 +0200 27/05/97, Mr B.Philip.Jonsson wrote:

>        I agree completely. Using Eliade's definition of a religion as
>'founding the reality' it's clear the science is today a new sort of living
>religion, with cosmogony, origin of life, of mankind, gods (Energy,
>Entropy, &c.), sacred and hermetic language (mathematics), well-developped
>magic (technology, flying, far-talking, fireballs, &c.), necromancy (old
>movies, archeology), clerics (I'm one) with studies, initiation, hierarchy
>and heretics (I'm one too) and underlying philosophy (the concept of the
>world's modelisation by scientific theories is platonician). The science is
>apostolic (a subtle form of neo-coloialism) but, perhaps, the main today's
>problems come from his lack of an eschatology!

Exactly. Agree with all you say. Hawking has tried to supply an eschatology
as well, but hasn't been totally successful.

>        I don't agree fully: translating a text is not just translating
>words, syntax and semantic but translating too the *pragmatic*.

Still it is the translators duty, irrespective of his own tenets, to convey
the pragmatics *of the author*. This means that the translator must be
familiar with the subject matter and with the cultural context, including
the beliefs and values of the author -- the more the better --, but it
doesn't mean that the translator *has to share* the culture, beliefs or
values of the author. Indeed it is not always possible: I may be a
co-religionist of Asanga's (for example), but the religion has evolved
since then, so _my_ Buddhism isn't exactly the same as his, nor is it
possible for me to actually partake of the reality in which he lived and

>one). And if I recall right, muslim law prohibes the translation of Coran.

AFAIK it is permissible to translate the Qur'an, but a translation is not
authoritative in the sense that the Arabic original is -- I'm sure there
are otheras on this list who can give more certain and accurate answers,


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