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Carl Jung on the Conflict between Science and Religion

Despite this inevitable epistemological criticism, however, we have held fast to the religious belief that the organ of faith enables man to know God.

The West thus developed a new disease: the conflict between Science and religion.

The critical philosophy of science became as it were negatively metaphysical in other words, materialistic on the basis of an error in judgment; matter was assumed to be a tangible and recognizable reality.

Yet this is a thoroughly metaphysical concept hypostatized by uncritical minds.

Matter is an hypothesis. When you say “matter,” you are really creating a symbol for something unknown, which may just as well be “spirit” or anything else; it may even be God.

Religious faith, on the other hand, refuses to give up its pre-critical Weltanschauung, In contradiction to the saying of Christ, the faithful try to remain children instead of becoming as children.

They cling to the world of childhood.

A famous modem theologian confesses in his autobiography that Jesus has been his good friend “from childhood on.”

Jesus is the perfect example of a man who preached something different from the religion of his forefathers.

But the imitatio Christi does not appear to include the mental and spiritual sacrifice which he had to undergo at the beginning of his career and without which he would never have become a savior.

The conflict between science and religion is in reality a misunderstanding of both.

Scientific materialism has merely introduced a new hypostasis, and that is an intellectual sin.

It has given another name to the supreme principle of reality and has assumed that this created a new thing and destroyed an old thing.

Whether you call the principle of existence “God” “matter,” “energy,” or anything else you like, you have created nothing; you have simply changed a symbol.

The materialist is a metaphysician.

Faith, on the other hand, tries to retain a primitive mental condition on merely sentimental grounds.

It is unwilling to give up the primitive, childlike relationship to mind-created and hypostatized figures; it wants to go on enjoying the security and confidence of a world still presided over by powerful, responsible, and kindly parents.

Faith may include a sacrificium intellects (provided there is an intellect to sacrifice), but certainly not a sacrifice of feeling.

In this way the faithful remain children instead of becoming as children, and they do not gain their life because they have not lost it.

Furthermore, faith collides with science and thus gets its deserts, for it refuses to share in the spiritual adventure of our age. ~Carl Jung, Psychology and Religion, Paragraphs 762-763.

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