Dienstag, 2. August 2005

Schönborn im ORF

Why is it that leaders of the Cleric are allowed to be on TV?
For once a good reason: Cardinal König would have turned 100 these days. On this occasion, his successors successor Cardinal Schönborn was on austrian TV tonight and was asked about his recent elaborations on the topic of "Intelligent" design.
I am writing from memory and some notes, so please do not pin me down on subtleties in his statements.
At first he related to König, supporting his view of seeking the dialog with the sciences, citing favourably Königs prologue to Thirrings book, where this physicist developed his kind of "privileged planet" (see also here) and taking this as a proof for the churchs tolerant stance towards science. Also Schönborn repeated his claim, that in his NYT op-ed he claimed that there is no conflict between religion and science.
The interviewer then asked S about some comments after his op-ed where it was seen as a fall back in pre-enlightenment times. S said, he was surprised about the worldwide reactions and this showed him that this question is obviously on the peoples minds. (What question would be interesting to know. In my opinion, it is not the question of evolution, but the question whether we want a church to interfere with our future.)
Then S cited König, who in turn had cited some physicist who was not able to not believe in a higher order when confronted with the beauty of the universe, taking this as a proof for God.
Interestingly, he then claimed that the differences between religion and science are mostly overcome today.
After that, S was asked to comment on Bush's recent plea to put ID in the classrooms, but S did not comment because did not know of that statement before. When asked, if both views should be taught in the classroom, S asked for freedom of discussion in the sciences and - in religion. (Did he know, how silly this sounds? Transubstantiation anyone?) He also wanted "critical questions directed at Darwinism" and "rational discussions in the classroom".
Making again the connection to König, S then claimed an openness to the sciences by the church and that it should be allowed to put forth critical questions from both sides (as this was the second instance of his "critique vice versa", I wonder what he would say if science would really start to ask for a theory of the ascension of christ. I think this is downright silly.)
Well, the interview was rounded off with the opinion of S, that Darwinism is responsible for globalization and the erosion of social standards (isn't it the other way round? Aren't the social standards in fact raised globally, as poorer nations with a lot of people get wealthier?).

Some time ago, the strict anti-religious stance of Dawkins was offensive to me. But I have to agree with his statement with regard to Schönborn in an interview in "Die Presse" from last weekend:
"Dieser törichte Mensch langweilt mich so."

As a bynote, this whole Schönborn issue convinced me that I won't have my kids baptized. Myself, I was quite engaged in the church in my youth and the catholic church was attractive in my eyes because of their acceptance of evolution (so I thought and even though I was raised a protestant). But now... If my kids want to embrace a religion, so be it, but I will not subject them to irrational indoctrination by people who put a book over people.

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