I now know what William Gibson meant in Neuromancer. On Wednesday I had almost 8 straight hours of philosophical discourse. First, I drafted an essay on the connection between the fetus’s “right to life” (in the abortion debate) to the rights of unborn generations to a good life (ie right to live in an environmentally and culturally sound world). Then, I met with the campus RUF minister and we discussed the prospect of Christian Dating (note there is nothing in the Bible that applies to this topic), and more generally the importance of belonging to the body of Christ (Christian Community). I found out that the Church Community, not the nuclear family, is the critical social unit to belong to. In fact Christ had many anti-family teachings (see Mark 10:29-30). Then at lunch a 2 hour debate on the limits of science. As a scientist, I am a strict empiricist; as a person, I am something else (not yet defined). Science is one of many tools I use to understand the world (the others including experience, emotion, imagination, revelation, cultural traditions, etc.). Note, however, that science is the only one of these that I can propagate to others in a value-free manner. That is to say, all the other epistemological tools are personal and not fully transferable to others without ethical ramifications. Science, on the other hand, is thankfully amoral (the scientific process is, but scientists are people too with all the concomitant flaws, and this causes the interaction between science and society to be less than the amoral ideal at times…). Then I had another long talk with my Biology professor about the culture wars over Creationism and Evolution. Exhaustion comes from the influx of concepts at a rate greater than the processing capacity of my brain.
The root questions are at once the most destabilizing and the most fruitful: THEOLOGY, SCIENCE, and INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS.
No matter which one you are engaged in, you are bound to come up against something greater than yourself!