Science, Religion, and Ethics in Dialogue

Saturday, October 5th, 2013, 11:50 WIB

There has become phenomena in recent years that communication, transportation, and consumption increasewedforum remarkably. In consequence, the increased speed has caused proliferation of choices in meaning-making practices. In other words, every people can be compound meaning producers, in the sense that our world is what we produce of it, whatever our religious, philosophical and scientific backgrounds. Increasing relativity in knowledge claims is another evident of this context. On one hand, there is localization and universalization of meaning-making practices in large part. On the other hand, there is increasing tendency of meaning making practices limitations, especially in the market-place of ideas. Once the root of a forward-thinking and emancipation ethics and politics, the root of considerable social and ecological violence, it produces ideas such as forward-thinking and expertise.

Religious studies and the natural sciences become dominated by ethics and politics instead of metaphysics, and epistemology becomes dialogical. In consequence, this condition brings us onto the unremitting process of planetary becoming. In this regards, colonizing epistemologies are produces of the foundationalism found in ex nihilo. Therefore, to re-construct understanding of creation that recognizes human and earth others, we should accommodate post-foundationalist thinking (such as found in Donna Haraway and Bruno Latour).

Whitney Bauman, an Undergraduate Director and Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Florida International University presented this enlightening topic. On Wednesday, 2 October 2013, Professor Bauman become speaker at the CRCS-ICRS Wed-Forum. He holds Ph.D from  Florida International University. He is the author of Religion and Ecology: Developing a Planetary Ethic (Columbia University Press, Forthcoming 2013) and Theology, Creation, and Environmental Ethics: From Creatio Ex Nihiloto Terra Nullis (Routledge 2009). He completed his dissertation, "From Creatio ex Nihilo to Terra Nullius: The Colonial Mind and the Colonization of Creation" in May of 2007.

Professor Bauman brilliantly argued that in the complex relation between circuts of power and ethics, time is not linear but durational, with unexpected nascent possibilities that are up in the air. In this context, planetary ethics are about guiding various likelihoods for becoming. Then, he convincingly claimed that “the pace of progress and control (whether technological, religious, or progressive is the legacy of an outdated humanity in which isolation and slower technologies were the structuring technologies of life.”

He also emphasized that the stride of advancement and supremacy has go faster than the planetary community to the point of outstripping the regenerative capabilities of the planet.  Therefore, we need the stride of ambiguity to replace this stride. In his interesting talk, he also argued that different formations, scopes, and domains for thinking in and with an equivocal world, critiquing trope of advancement and certitude, and accentuate “the virtues of unknowing found in many meaning-making practices.” Furthermore, new bonds between self-and-other, and humans-and-the rest of the natural world are formed through these spaces of unknowing. While preserving some of its benefits, such bonds may help us to shape a planetary community that contradict the social and ecological anxieties of globalization. (admin,che)