“There are two fundamentally different conceptions of science – one that is scientific and one that is not. In the first, science properly deals with reality, mostly in its physical manifestations. It tries to understand the things that are – what they are, how they work and why, in terms of efficient causes. Science is not metaphysics, but, in order to work, it must assume that things have ends. Otherwise, what would be the point of investigating them, and how would one go about doing it? It is not science that gives to things their ends; those exist already as part of themselves. Science works with the already existing ends in Nature to held bring them about, to fulfill them. Science is not so much the mastery of Nature as an alliance with it. To succeed, it must work with Nature, not against it. This is particularly true in practical sciences. You cannot heal people if you do not know what health is. As Dr. Leon Kass said, ‘The doctor is the cooperative ally of nature, not its master.’
“The other notion of science – the unscientific one – is an endeavor not so much to understand what exists and how to bring it to fruition, but to gain power over and fundamentally transform it. Man becomes the ultimate master through the exercise of his will by the instrument of science; he makes all things new according to his desires. Man’s will ignores the end of things and assigns to them his purpose, and they have purposes only insofar as he assigns them. They are nothing in themselves. Nor is man something in himself but only what he makes himself to be. This is science as ideology, as the construction of a false reality. Its spirit was reflected in this remark from an article in the New England Journal of Medicine (July 2003) regarding the prospect of embryonic stem cell research: ‘The Promethean prospect of eternal regeneration awaits us.’”
▪ Robert R. Reilly, Making Gay Okay – How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior is Changing Everything (Ignatius, 2014) extract from page 117.
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