Science and Humanity

“There is something intrinsically dehumanising in the scientific mindset that operates in detachment, driven by analysis, the breaking down of wholes to their component parts. The focus is not on the particular – this man, that woman, this child – but on the universal. Science per se has no space for empathy or fellow feeling. That is not a critique of science, but it is an insistence that science is not the sum total of our understanding of humanity. So much of what is unique about humanity – our imagination, our ability to conceptualise and imagine worlds that have not yet been, our capacity to communicate deeply with others, to bridge distances and orchestrate our differences – cannot be analysed scientifically, but is nonetheless essential to who we are and what we are about. That is not to say that scientists are not compassionate and loving human beings: surely they are. But when science is worshipped and everything spiritual dethroned, then a certain decision has been made to set aside human feelings for the sake of something seemingly higher, nobler, larger. That is how idolatry begins.”

Morality, Chapter 17, p. 241