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March 22, 1930     Arkansas Catholic
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March 22, 1930
 

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PAGE TWO _ , i THE GUARDIAN, MARCH 22, 1930 Published Weekly THE CATHOLIC PUBLICATION SOCIETY of the Diocese of Little Rock 807 WEST SECOND STREET Entered as second-class matter March 21. 1911, at the postoffice at Little Rock, Ark., under the Act of Congress of March 8, 1879. SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, $2.00 THE Y EAR CHANGE OF ADDRESS When a change of address is desired tile subscriber should give soth the old and the new address. CORRESPONDENCE Matter intended for publication in The Guardian should reach us sot later than Wednesday morning. Brief news correspondence is tlways welcome. The kindness of the clergy in this matter is cer- tainly appreciated. 1'. iitEV. MSGR. J. P, FISHER ............................ Business Manager All communications should be addressed to, The Guardian, ~U~ "/2 West Second Street, Little Rock, Ark. OFFICIAL ORGAN supplant the crescent on the dome of St. Sophia. tation or explanation is not necessarily better, tradicts the fossil-idea of science In the cultured, refined and truly scientificlThanks to our instruments, the modern eyes I Dewey, namely: "I repudiate the idea minds, this tendency to adore science assed that see the heavens and search the behavior of ing the distinctive beliefs of religion away with the waters under the bridge. But protons and electrons are 'better than the eyes the data of physical science or by the l a few fossils remained. [of Aristotle, who had not these instruments, of physical science. That One of these is the recent article of Profes- But it does not follow that our brains are any phase, when it was almost necessary sor John Dewey, whom the March Forum de- better than the brains of Aristotle. In this cen- permission of physics to call one's scribes as a "living philosopher," despite the tury, we know far more about microbes and own, is past." fact that the philosophy which he presents in galatic systems than did any of the medieval "The day is past," says Professor those pages is certainly long since dead. He philosophers, but I am not so sure that there but the day is not past for Professor writes that the "method we term 'scientific' is any mind today quite so capable of interpret- still clings to the worn-out Positivism forms for the modern man (and a man is not ing these facts as the mind of that great medie-lcentury, and assures us that we can modern merely because he lives in 1930) the valist, Thomas Aquinas. ling beyond the world of experience, sole dependable means of disclosing the reali- What Are Facts? inot God. Speaking as a "scientist," he ties of existence. It is the sole authentic modeIt is one thing to observe facts, another thing can know nothing about the cat. The Guardian is the offmial organ of the Diocese of Little Rocl~, of revelation." ind I pray God that it may be an earnest champion of the cause ot right, justice and truth anti an ardent defender of the religion wlliell I eve all love so well. I extend to it my blessing with the sincere nope ] __ni~uate Philoso h .n v Relics of Ata O~at its career maybe long cudprosperous. )~ JNO. B.MORI~IS, Bishop of Little Rock. MARCH 22. 1930 of knowledge, that the scientific method is the trary. A cat walking through a laboratory sees only method of knowledge, that a belief in the test tubes and retorts just as well as the to interpret them. Facts as facts mean noth- philosopher, he says there is no cat. ling; experience as experience means nothing, long time ago, and nothing but the grinr This idea that experience constitutes the sum despite Professor Dewey's statement to the con-i Dr. Dewey forgets that reason, like a nine lives, and it still com.es up smiling (Copyright, 1930, N. C. W. C,) authority is due to "incompetence to cope with scientist in fact sees them better, in the dark. experience," that a thorough-going philosophy But the cat can make no conclusions concern- must be "framed in the light of science and ing the facts, simply because it lacks the power technique," is nothing more than the antiquated of reason. It is reasoning on experience, then, 0 THE POPE AND PERSEq ver ence to a system of psychology which re- duces personality to "a reaction mass as a whole," for the whole world knows, in its mo- ments of sanity, that no matter how many jump- ing Mexican beans were put into a bag and shaken together, the sum of their "reaction-mass as a whole" would never make them become conscious of themselves. The world, too, could get along very well without a psychology which explains life by adjustable to environment, for it is not always desirable to adjust one's self to environment, particularly if it is a bad environment, and fur- thermore some of the greatest geniuses are those who have never adapted themselves to environ- ment but have risen above it. The World, 1 say could get along without that kind of psychol- ogy, but it could never get along without bright ideas, a sense of humor and an explanation for the nonsense of Behaviorism. Behaviorism fails to account for these three things, and it is bet- ter that we scrap Behaviorism than run the risk of losing our sense of humor. It is not often that we can quote Mr. Bertrand Russell with approval, but he spoke words of wisdom when he said "Modern psychology consists of the dis- covery by professors of what everybody else has already known," and one of the things that everybody has always known is that, over and above the muscle twitchings of every human organism, there is a something that twitches which is not psychological, nor biological, but spiritual, and that is the twitching of a con- science. Mechanistic interpretations of life, such as Behaviorism, are becoming a thing of the past. Very recently the distinguished physiologist, James S. Haldane said that "the mechanistic speculations of the last century no longer afford any prospect of understanding life." This is the first step toward a return to the psychology of the soul. Psychology first lost its soul, then it lost its mind, finally it lost its consciousness. Driven from bad to worse, and worse to Behav- iorism, it was bound to suffer a reaction. This reaction is now manifested by those scientists who asse:t that mechanism does not explain life nor thought. An Approaching "Discovery." Mr. Chesterton once told the story of a man who went out from England in a row boat, came back and made a great discovery--he discov- ered England. It is not unlikely that in the near future, the psychologists who left the shores of sane thinking in the row boat of Novelty will soon come back to those shores once again, and will make a great discovery--they will discover a soul. And those who make that discovery will be hailed as original thinkers, for if error mul- tiplies, the most novel and original thing in the world will be truth. ' (Copyright, 1930, N. C. W. C.) 0 THE NEW PAGANISM. When the religious persecution THE NEW PAGANISM. philosophy of August Comte and the more anti- that makes interpretation, and for that reason in Mexico and His Holiness, the quated religious philosophy of Draper and I say we are no better equipped today to inter-I to bring it to an end, many (Continued from last week.) White.. pret facts than the ancients; we have only bet- ' Papacy throughout the world c World Doesn't Need It. I This attitude towards science is unscientific,'ter facts to interpret. It is the mind that makes'the Pope was actuated by selfi After all, it is a small thing in life to account1 and is nothing more than a survival attitude of the difference; that is why a great mind like lpointed out that Mexico was a for the twitchings, twistings and squirmings of the distorted mentality of the nineteenth en- tDr. Millikan or Professor Eddington sees a Rea- I try, and asserted that the Pope was baby life. Commerce, social life, philosophy, tury. There is not a single distinguished philos- son behind things, while certain puny minds do to build up antagonism towards the peace conferences, education and religion, all opher of science in the world today who believes not. 'of Mexico solely for the purpose of these could go on without the slightest ad- the statement of Professor Dewey to the e'ffect 4. It has often been maintained that the lCatholic prestige and the o I ~ o . I that the scientific method is the only method ceaseless practice of exact measuremen dulls Catholics of Mexico to again the brain; hence there is a great danger that lfluence upon Mexican national minds excessively bent on observing tiny facts, word, they cited many reasons to I formulating temporary hypotheses to describe !those facts, may sooner or later come to despise or lose the lofty use of reason. The constant analyzing of things, tearing things to bits, la- belling each, has spoiled our power of synthesis and the capacity to rise above or beyond meas- urement. Measurement is necessary, it "is true, ence is concerned only with the description of but man could go mad thinking out the Chrysler phenomena, or of "how" things take place, but Building in terms of inches, though he would not with the explanation of phenomena or not go mad thinking it out in terms-of stories. of knowledge. In the litany of scientists, we might mention such men as Duhem, Meyerson, Poincare, Milhaud, Boutroux, Dingler, Renoirte, Whitehead, Richardson, Millikan, whose posi- tion could be summed up in these words: The scientist does not seek the ultimate, but, the proximate. He does not speak of the last analy- sis, but the next approximation. All these distinguished thinkers say that sci- Professor Dewey Digs Up Some Relics of Anti- quated Religious Philosophy--What About Science's Development ? By Rev. Fulton J. Sheen, Ph. D., S. T. D. Just as there are fossils of pre-historic animals hidden in the strata of the earth which g rvive from age to age, so, too, there are philosophical fossils hidden in the strata of university class- rooms and between the pages of magazine covers. In the middle of the last century, theJ general spirit of the times was that of positivism, agnos- ticism and scepticism, which held that science was omniscient and that a day would come when science could build babies in laboratories and foretell the split-second when the cross would "why" they take place. Natural laws for them are descriptions of events, but nothing more. Science describes in terms of meathmatics, but it does not explain in terms of causes. It has nothing to say about the real nature of things, but only elucidates certain relations between them. As Professor Eddington has so well put it, speaking as a scientist "We can grasp the tune, but not the player." Real Value of Science. I know it is dangerous to talk about the lim- itations of science, for one is apt to be put down The Divine Wisdom once reminded us of the limitations of measurement and the impossibil-I ity of substituting measurement for Cause: L"What man by taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? 5. When Professor John Dewey says that the scientific method is "the sole authentic mode of revelation," he is not only saying somet-hing unscientific; he is also uttering painful non- sense. The method of science is not the only method of knowledge. Why should it be the supreme right of physics, for example, to tell as an obscurantist and a medievalist, becauseus what religion is? Why should God be in- science is supposed to be in certain minds some- terpreted in terms of the theory of relativity, thing about which there is no dispute, like the which belongs to the domain of physics, an " multiplication table, while religion is something more than by the discovery of insulin, which which admits of dispute, like a disarmament belongs to the domain of medicine? The meth- conference. But in the light of the testimony od and content of one science is not the meth- of the distinguished scientists quoted above, a od and content of any other science. Just as few general points concerning the value of sci- the subject of predicate of one sentence cannot ence may make our meaning clear: be transferred to another sentence, so neither 1. Science is not inimical to a Christian civ- ilization, for it has flourished only in a Christian civilization. It has not flourished in a Buddhist civilization, nor amongst the Mohammedans, for the reason that a pantheistic civilization which confuses God and the world, can never get hold of the world alone to study it scientif- ically. The Christian conception, on the con- trary, makes God and the world distinct, and, therefore, makes itpossible for a man to study the universe as the universe. In doing this, man follows out the injunction of the Creator, Vvho commanded man to be a scientist when He said : "Rule over the earth and subject it." 2. What has our great scientific advance in recent years done for us except to give us great- er measurement, and greater accuracy in the measurement of secondary causes? Science is necessarily concerned only with secondary causes, like matter, light, force, electricity, but not the primary cause which is God. What is the essential difference between the old Greek theory that the world was made of four ele- ments air, earth, fire and water--and the mod- ern scientific theory that it is made up of elec- trical energy diversified into ninety-two ele- ments? The fact is, the only difference is a difference in the exactness of measuremen t, but not a difference in interpretation of the whole. As Professor Whitehead tells us, the great scientific advance of the last fifty years is on, ly an advance in the instruments tech- nique or measurement, but not in a knowledge of causes. The old Greeks measured crudely in yards; we measure skilfully in millimeters. They called things "chunks of matter," we call them "electrical charges." This certainly is an advance in the delicacy of measurement, but it is not necessarily an advance in the final ex- planation of things in terms of the First Cause, which is God. 3. Science ,according to modern philosophers of science, is concerned only with the observa- tion of facts and their description in terms of mathematics, nottheir explanation in terms of causes. Now it is quite true that, thanks to finer instruments, our knowledge of facts is bet- ter than that of the ancients, but our interpre- can the categories of one science be transferred, 'without correction, to the categories of another ' science. I Because life evolves, it does not follow that t God evolves. If the laws of psychology are not applicable to the facts of astronomy, and if the laws of music are not trkns 'erable to engineer- ing, and if the predicates of an amoeba are not applicable, to the Parthenon, why should Professor Dewey say that the method of experi- mental science is applicable to the whole field of wisdom, even religion? Oxygen or hydro- gen cannot be studied in the same way jus- tice and fortitude. Prohibition may be a "noble experiment," but it does not follow from that individual liberty is also an experiment. Orig- inal sin is not to be studied in the same way as the electron, nor the fall of man in the same way as the fall of an apple. Injustice, unkind- ness and evil are not to be studied or known in just the same way as sulphuric acid. There is not such thing as putting a law-breaker into a' crucible and stewing him until the numistak- able green fumes of lawlessness break out on him like a rash. It is one thing to be a relativist in physics and one thing to be be a relativist in theology. Relativity may be true fox" the spheres, but it is being carried too far when it says that we have four fingers on one hand and six on another; or when it says that from Pope's intervention, but never that of tolic mission which, of course, was son. How these critics are confounded Pope's attitude with regard to the secution in Russia! Out of/ po 000,000 the adherents of the must be today well over 100,000,0 are between fifteen and twenty medans. The Jews number be" a half and four millions. The. Soviet Russia are now fewer in numb Jews. Before the World War the otics constituted nearly ten per cent ulation of Russia, but by far the lived in Poland; which is now an republic. So in asking for an end ligious persecution in Russia, the reasonably be accused of being con ly with members of the visible Cath When he fed the impoverished of er the World War with food money obtained from Catholics thrOt world, the Pope's charity knew no tinction, and neither did his appeal of the religious persecution which the people of all religions throu The letter of His Holiness to on the anti-religious perseCution has which precludes any idea of selfish: His Holiness calls attention to the asked the governments represeri ed ference of Genoa to come to a ment to make "a declaration which spared many woes to Russia and to world, and that was to proclaim a future condition of any Soviet government--the respect of' the liberty of religions, and of the the Church." But His Holiness adds mournfully these three points, heipi-u auove ecclesiastic hierarchies unfortunately from the Catholic unity, were view of temporal interests which, hand, would have been better safe the different governments respecte the rights of God, His kingdom Repulsed also was our direct save from destruction and to traditional and religious uses the and ikons, forming a treasure of dear to the Russian heart. have had the consolation of saving trial and of efficaciously helping that hierarchy unfortunately the unity, the Patriarch Tykon, W[ erous gifts of the Catholic world starvation and from a horrible death 150,000 children fed daily our the latter were obliged to of mercy, since the Soviet govern e red to condemn thousands of rather than see them fed by In concluding his letter to His Holiness designated March 19 expiation, propitiation and of rePt olic is neither a Fundamentalist nor a Modern- ist. He is not a Fundamentalist because more the many "atrocious offences to fundamental than Fundamentalism;,. he asks Heart and for the relief of our where the Bible came from. He is not a Mod-' Russian people." dermsm The Chrmtmn world has been ernist because more modern than Mo " ;I " " enera low the example of the Vmar of he knows that the mental fashion th"g - eheve to all of the great rehgmus bodies lion believes to be true, the next will b " " " . " be false. The attitude on science here sketched their detestation of the Soviet is the common sense attitude of living scientists; cution and have appealed to their it is nothing more than a development of the pray for its speedy end. They idea of Professor Eddington which flatly con- unto the call of the great shepherd