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These two assumptions are not the whole picture. There are also two major trends which have served to support them:


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The Industrial Age has been the age of Specialization. Branches of learning have been subdivided into specialized fields of expertise. Each of these branches of learning may be very proficient in its respective field, but overall the different fields do not integrate. pic_20.jpg (19982 bytes)
The original purpose of this specialization of learning was to obtain knowledge on a more detailed level, and then to bring together all these areas of knowledge into one integrated whole, but the specialists have become blinded by their knowledge, giving rise to an unbalanced kind of specialization, an extreme view. In the field of science there are those who feel that science alone will solve mankind's problems and answer all his questions, which gives them little inclination to integrate their learning with other fields of knowledge.
This kind of outlook has caused the belief that religion and ethics are also specialized fields of learning. Modern education reduces ethics to just another academic subject. When people think of ethics, they think, “Oh, religion”, and file it away in its little compartment. they aren't interested. But when it comes to solving the world's problems, they say, “Oh, my field can do that!” They don't think of trying to integrate it with other disciplines. If they really were capable of solving all problems, then they would have to be able to solve the ethical ones, too. But then they say that ethics is a concern of religion, of this or that field of expertise. This brings me to the second attitude I would like to mention:
ball4.gif (995 bytes) The belief that ethical problems can be solved without the need for ethics. Supporters of this idea believe that when material development has reached its peak, all ethical problems will disappear of their own accord. According to this view, it is not necessary to train human beings or develop the mind. This is a line of reasoning which has recently appeared in the field of economics. Some economists say that if the economy is healthy and material goods are in plentiful supply, there will no longer be any contention, and society will be harmonious, This is simply saying that ethical or moral problems can be solved through material means, without the need for ethics.
pic_21.gif (15002 bytes) This is not entirely wrong. Economic situations do have a bearing on ethical problems, but it is a mistake to look at the matter too simplistically, believing that if the economy was healthy, ethical problems would somehow disappear of their own accord.
It could be said, if somewhat facetiously, that this line of reasoning is true in one sense, because without ethics it would be impossible for the economy to be healthy. It could be alternatively said that if ethical practice was good (for example, people were encouraged to be diligent, generous, prudent and to use their possessions in a way that is useful to society), then economic problems would disappear.
The statement that when the economy is good, ethical problems will not arise, is true in the sense that before the economy can be healthy, ethical problems must be addressed. Similarly, the statement that when ethical problems are all solved, the economy will be healthy, is true in the sense that before ethical problems can be solved, economic problems must also be addressed.
The phrase ‘ethical problems' takes in a wide range of situations, including mental health and the pursuit of happiness. Thus, the solving of ethical problems through materialistic means must also entail dealing with moods and feelings, examples of which can be seen in the synthesization of tranquillizers to relieve stress, worry, depression and sorrow. But it would be a mistake to try to solve ethical problems through such means. This kind of relief is only temporary. It only soothes the problem, it does not solve it. We may come back to this point later on. pic_22.jpg (17979 bytes)
Many branches of learning would like to be recognized as definitive sciences, but the specialist perspective causes funnel-vision, discord and in itself becomes an impediment to true science. The specialists are incapable of being true scientists. Even physics cannot be called true science, because it lacks completeness; its facts are piecemeal, its truth is partial. When truth is partial, it is not the real truth. With only some of the facts known, any deductions made are not in accordance with the total reality. The stream of cause and effect is not seen in its entirety, so the truth remains out of reach.
These two beliefs or attitudes (that is, specialization and the belief that ethical problems can be solved through material means) pervade the Age of Industrialization. Coupled with the two lines of reasoning previously mentioned, problems are intensified accordingly.
I have here initiated a course of enquiry. There may be some of you who are wondering what all this has to do with religion. In answer I would like to say that at this point we are beginning to approach the domain of religion. Many of the points I have mentioned so far come within the domain of religion, but in order to see this more clearly. I would like to retrace my steps and get onto the subject of religion itself. I have been speaking about science, its origins and development, now let's take a look at the origin and development of religion and try to integrate the two in some way.

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