Political Trials, Science, and Religion: The Proper Relationship between Church and State
The institutions of science and religion regularly announce rival visions of the public order and continually struggle with each other to have their respective truths actualized in social practice. Competition between the two is sometimes subtle, sometimes intense, but always present. Fundamental differences in how these two institutions define, organize, and evaluate reality make this tension inevitable. Such differences lead to different ideas of authority, power, and obedience. Consequently, their individual visions of the proper public order are resistant to compromise, and the rivalry between them must be continually worked out in practice.
For several reasons, it is important to work out this rivalry and to stabilize the competition between the two, integrate each institution into our social strategies, and ensure that each is related to government in a positive way. First, we must integrate science, religion, and government because we know from experience that each is especially good at one specific thing, both of which we must have to devise a workable social order, and both of which a good government must have to get things done. On the one hand, we must have an "intellectual regime." Getting things done requires a set of practices accepted as the best at authoritatively producing knowledge and meaningfully forming that knowledge into a coherent, useable whole. Usually, we think of the institutions and discourses of science as the best at providing this regime in our society. At the same time, getting things done requires more than knowledge. It requires a coherent set of values and priorities. For us, the institutions and discourses of religion are a primary source of this "moral regime." We cannot get our bearings in the world and organize