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Further Reading

DEPARTMENT

Opening Salvo

Salvo 9

by James M. Kushiner

That Brian Greene is one smart guy. Seriously. I’ve read one of his books, The Fabric of the Cosmos, and it is clear that he has done his scientific homework as a physicist.

But I was underwhelmed when I heard him recently on a radio talk show. The host asked him if he thought there was an afterlife and if there was any evidence for one. Well, Greene said, sure, there could possibly be an afterlife, but he didn’t think so, and there was absolutely no evidence for one.

Later, he became a little bolder. He saw no need at all for a Creator, since the laws of physics, operating on particles for a very long time, could have, step by incremental step, produced the cosmos and you and me and the rest of the world. People who don’t believe this probably don’t grasp just how long a time we’re talking about—billions of years!

Greene averred that he is just a “bag of particles” operated upon by the laws of physics. What is “life” anyway? Ultimately, we who are “alive” aren’t really that much different from the rocks on planet Earth—we’re all just arrangements of particles subject to the laws of physics.

But if we’re all just particles, is there any reason to “privilege” human beings over carrots? (Seriously, see Wesley J. Smith, p. 7.) Or is there any reason to privilege one human being’s ideas over those of another? Actually, no, explains Regis Nicoll (p. 32); that is, unless one of the human beings happens to be a scientist.

Indeed, the many scientific successes of the last 100 years have led many to accord authority to “science” and scientists. How many times have you heard someone in the media or the academy declare, “As science now tells us . . .”?

But if science has become our font of worldly wisdom, why do so many insist on ignoring scientific facts, logic, and reason when those facts and logic tell us things we don’t want to hear? That abortion kills human beings, for example? Or that pornography has bad consequences both for the children who see it online (see p. 18) and for society (see p. 25)? Or that “no-fault divorce” is bad for society and devastating for children (see p. 46)?

How is it that today’s prevailing views on so many moral issues fly in the face of the evidence? Is it willfulness? Could Brian Greene be wrong after all? Could we be something other than bags of particles controlled by the laws of physics? Rational creatures, perhaps, who nevertheless are subject—and often succumb—to temptation?

Or is, as folks like Greene might argue, our succumbing to temptation just another proof that we are particles responding to laws of hormones? In other words, is it that we just can’t help ourselves?

We at Salvo think all of us can help ourselves. That’s why we publish. So don’t get discouraged by the many powerful lies that we report in our pages. After all, it’s liberating to understand those lies, and their dangers, and to realize how little power they hold over people smart enough to think outside the bag of particles. So, enjoy Salvo 9 and use it wisely—spread the word!

—James M. Kushiner, Executive Editor


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Articles from the current issue (Salvo 29: Summer 2014)

Moon Strike

Lunar Origin Causes "Philosophical Disquiet"

by Hugh Ross

Public Defender

An Interview with Robert P. George

by Marcia Segelstein

Virtues Reinvented

Social Engineering the New Vices

by Louis Markos

 

© 2014 Salvo magazine. Published by The Fellowship of St. James. All rights reserved.