I have noticed a philosophical fallacy that continues to crop up on many polemical threads on this discussion board. I will refer to this fallacy as the "Fact/Value Dichotomy." In other words, some posters operate from an "a priori" assumption that science deals with facts while religion deals with values; thus they repeatedly argue that as Orthodox Christians we should not seek to "impose our morality" on secular society. They argue that we should not vote according to our religious beliefs, that we should not allow our religious convictions to inform our medical decisions, and that all matters of morality should simply be left to individuals and their Priests (which of course means that the irreligious are doomed to a perpetual fate of immorality and suffering the consequences of their immorality.)
Society tells us that the "EXPERTS" are the secular scientists and the secular scholars. Religious leaders are considered to be naive troglodytes that are tolerated as long as they don't try to influence society with their religious views.
So I am always intrigued when I read posts from professing Orthodox Christians that promote a Fact/Value Dichotomy. If you believe that religion is to be relegated to the realm of subjective values while science is deified as objective truth, then doesn't that mean that your religion is nothing more than mere superstition?
Orthodoxy is Orthopraxis. If our Faith has no bearing on society, then what's the point? Shouldn't we, of all people - as Orthodox Christians - strive with all of our being to influence society to conform to the peace, love, and morality of Our Lord Jesus Christ?
So my basic questions to my Orthodox brethren are:
1. a)Do you adhere to this Fact/Value Dichotomy?
b)And if so, how is your Faith not reduced to mere superstition?
2. If Our Lord calls us to be the Salt of the Earth and the Light of the World, then why shouldn't we try to influence society with our moral convictions?
I hope we can all have productive discussion on this topic without sarcasm or ridicule (I'm speaking to myself first and foremost
). I look forward to your responses.
Peace to all.