Criticism of “Our Faith in Science”

Every individual has a right to believe or not to believe. Faith is something subjective that related to all people independently. The authors of the article “Our faith in science” are Kirszner and Mandell who touch upon different issues, finally making an emphasis on ethics in science and application of ethical decision-making strategies to scientific researches. When the faith is questioned, it is necessary to ask monks for help while modern science is capable of escaping unethical decisions that can take human lives away.

The article “Our faith in science” on behalf Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV is taken from The Blair Reader (20o4) written by Kirszner and Mandell. Though this article seems to be realistic enough, it also lacks convergence.

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This source is written on behalf of Tenzin Gyatso though the authors are Kirszner and Mandell. The authors start to write about the faith and his trips, proceed with explanation of positive consequences of meditation on bran functions, and conclude with analysis of contemporary scientific methods with regard to ethical decision-making.

As the authors begin their story with mention of Tenzin Gyatso’s childhood: “As a child in Tibet, I was keenly curious about how things worked” (Kirszner & Mandell, 2010, p. 527), the article resembles a letter to a friend. In this respect, Kirszner and Mandell make the readers feel confident about what they say and be sure about the veracity of their words.

The article is full of inconsistent statements because the authors intended to compare incomparable concepts and apply some religious theories and meditation strategies to scientific innovations. For instance, the authors claim that Tenzin Gyatso was interested in observing the sky through the telescope and saw that there were shadows on the moon surface (Kirszner & Mandell, 2010, p. 527).

They approached this issue questioning the science instead of questioning Tenzin Gyatso’s own knowledge. “…this was contrary to the ancient version of cosmology I had been taught, which held that moon … emitted its own light” (Kirszner & Mandell, 2010, p. 527). As such, the authors do not try to find the truth but rather attempt to find explanation to why something does not correspond to what Tenzin Gyatso has been taught.

The authors imply that scientific methods can help to prove the positive effect of Tenzin Gyatso’s practices in order to tell about this phenomenon to the international community.

However, tradition of meditating was introduced by the authors as a way toward “alleviating human suffering” (Kirszner & Mandell, 2010, p. 528) whereas scientific methods can simply support or refute this idea instead of making certain contribution to making the human lives better. Alternatively, the authors do not mention the positive effects of scientific innovations on human life in terms of manufacturing, farming, and healthcare.

Scientific research methods are questioned by the authors with regard to moral thinking and empathy. Science should avoid emotions such as empathy; otherwise, no inventions would be made even when vitally needed. “…Our moral thinking simply has not been able to keep pace with speed of scientific advancement” (Kirszner & Mandell, 2010, p. 529).

In this respect, the authors start using the personal pronoun in plural form in order to identify Tenzin Gyatso with each and every reader. This approach can be analyzed as an attempt to persuade the audience in its own lack of moral thinking that lags behind the scientific progress.

To sum up, the authors question the concepts of faith and tell about his childhood to gain the readers’ favor. Besides, Kirszner and Mandell spend many arguments on making people realize the positive effect of meditations whereas Tenzin Gyatso wants to reach collaboration between Buddhism and science. Finally, the authors question ethical decision-making with regard to advancement of scientific methods trying to persuade the readers that they have the same insight.

References

Kirszner, L., & Mandell, S. (2004). The Blair Reader (5th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall. 527-529.

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