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Class Reading (Response Essay)



EssayChat / May 15, 2018

The Caiazza reading brings up issues of technology and religion in an interesting, cogent and articulate manner, and also invokes questions of morality, ethics and scientific development that can be applied both today and to some of the more venerable examples used by the author, like Saint Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. "Science may have displaced religion from the public square, but the traditional science-religion conflict has become threadbare in intellectual terms. Scientific theories have become increasingly abstract, and science has been attacked" (Caiazza, 2017, p. 25). This author argues that technology has replaced science, which is an interesting theory to consider when one connects it to issues of both the rise of religion in politics, and traditional questions of whether to teach evolution or creationism in schools in what is essentially in the case of the US, a secular nation.

Response EssayLooking at techno-secularism also brings up issues of religion in politics. During the 1980s under Reagan, the religious right got a strong foothold in American politics which they have been reinforcing ever since to push various religious agendas into the legislation of what is an essentially secular state. These agendas are generally anti-science and also tend to be anti-technology, although they are not above using technology (such as the concurrent rise of televangelism in the 1980s) to promote various evangelical and financial agendas. At the same time conservative political forces tend to embrace anti-science religious right groups, they also generally seek to end or downscale the country's social welfare safety net programs. School rights, homosexuality, prayer in school and other issues also tend to become predominant politically as the nation takes a more conservative political turn, since conservative propaganda tends to feature a hazy, rosy image of the domestic past that is both alluring and fictional, as one cannot arguably live through the past.

As noted above, it is also important to view the Caiazza article in terms of the issues it brings up regarding traditional questions of whether to teach evolution or creationism in schools. Intelligent design and creationism were in conflict in the schools and courts through much of the 19th and 20th centuries, when important trials such as the Scopes "monkey trial" set the standards for what could and could not be taught re: Darwin's theories. These theories, of course, represent science, while creationism represents religious interests, in a nation, the US, where church and state are seen to be separate. In this setting, it is relatively easy to see Caiazza's portrayal of technology at work: "Technology enables us to remake our environment according to our wishes and has become a kind of magic that replaces not just revealed religion but also theoretical science. Techno-secularism has an ethical vision that focuses on healthful living, self-fulfillment, and avoiding the struggles of human life and the inevitability of death" (Caiazza, 2017, p. 25).

In conclusion, the Caiazza reading can be linked to theories of evolution vs. creationism in public schools, as well as issues of politics and religion in the US. It would seem that currently the US is seeking to reintegrate a failed past system that was already decided, regarding the futility of teaching creationism in public schools in a secular nation. Rather, theories of natural selection and evolution are preferable, because they are backed by a scientific paradigm that, to Caiazza, has been made penultimate by a technological one.

Reference

Caiazza, J. Athens, Jerusalem, and the arrival of techno secularism. Fortieth Anniversary Symposium.


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