The Opening of Dialogue to a Triologue

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The growth of secularism along with the growth of Science and Technology had brought Religion on verge of extinction. There were and there are several prophets of doom who have uttered the death sentence/ fatwa on Religion. They declared that with the progressive growth of Science, Religion will be simply wiped off. A cursory glance at the affairs of the world shows that Religion has come with a bang. The return of Religion has taken Religions to the extremes. We see how it has threatened world peace and is being weaponized by terror and identity politics across the globe. This does not mean that the return of Religion has only revived fundamentalism. Fundamentalism is not a true form of Religion. It is a perversion of Religion. The event of the return of Religion has also brought about new people who seek God, peace and goodness. The site of this return along with the disruption of Quantum Physics, theory of Relativity, Genetic Revolution, Cloning technology etc., has inaugurated the event of dialogue of Science and Religion. Science-Religion dialogue is actively taught and their relations are actively researched in several universities in Europe and America. India is also not far behind this important dialogue. We can trace an active search of Science in the Vedic Religion to a rational quest to integrate the best of Science with the deepest insights and values of Religion in our country.

1. The Event of Dialogue

Alain Badiou has a notion of an evental site. An event occurs at an evental site. An evental site exists within a situation that is at the edge of a void. Being at the edge of a void means that the site is at a transition point of upheaval or disruption. It means that the site reaches a saturation point that shifts it away from the situation. That is, the site no longer shares anything in common with the situation that it is in. Thus no one can anticipate the occurrence of the event as the evental site has nothing in common with the existing situation. The evental site can be thought with the image of the unpredictable collapse of a quantum wave function. The event, therefore, becomes radically unprecedented, undecidable and unnameable. The situation is blind to the churnings of the evental site. The developments in Science, especially in quantum Physics itself became an unanticipated disruptive site in the first half of the 20th century that generated the emergence of the event of dialogue. The smearing novelty at the evental site I best articulated by Astronomer Robert Jasthrow, ‘For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.’

2. Rapture of a Situation and the Event of Dialogue

Badiou mathematically schematizes an event in the following way: eX = { x ∈ X, eX }. This formulation is read as: ‘an event e of a situation X contains as its elements, elements of X and the event, itself.’ The event happens at the evental site. The event, therefore, is still part of the situation that it is in. This is why the event is constituted by the elements of the situation. Badiou teaches us that the event is self-containing. It can be recognized from within the event and not from outside it. The truths of the event constitute its subjects who live their fidelity to the event. ‘The process of the event, evental discerning and fidelity’ is what Badiou calls truth. This means an event being a rapture from a situation, constitutes subjects converted to the truths of the event. The situation of Science in the 20th century brought about an event of dialogue unknown and unanticipated by the community of scientists themselves. A raptured the situation, therefore, became the evental site of the event of dialogue. Badiou teaches that there are four domains in which conversion to the truth occurs. Love, Science, Art and Politics are the domains where Humans live their fidelity to the truths of the event. The event of dialogue that opened the dialogue of Science and Religion with renewed energy (dialogue did have its presence but existed unnamed) brought forth people committed to the dialogue that occurs in the domain of Love. It is in the process of conversion as well as the living of the fidelity to the truths that the people committed to the event of dialogue find meaning and happiness in their life.

3. The Trialogue of Love

The subject discerns the existence of the event but does not create the event. In fact, the event creates the subject. The event transforms us by subjecting us to it. Love too transforms the lovers. Love for Badiou is a life-changing event. It opens a new world to lovers. This means that the lovers begin to see the world from the point of view of the two rather than that of one. This is why we have to agree that the event of love opens us to a dialogical perspective of the World. The event of dialogue that we are studying in this context is an event of love. It takes us from the monologue of Science and Religion to the event of dialogue where Humanity, Science and Religion benefits. This means event of dialogue is an event of love that exceeds into a trialogue. It is not just a perspective from the two but is a perspective from three. Like love, the dialogue/ triologue between Science, Religion and Humanity is inconvenient and transformative. There is no risk-free love. Love to Badiou is dangerous. In a similar vein, the transformative power of the event of dialogue cannot be underestimated. Just like love, the event of dialogue is disruptive. It disrupts Science and Religion. Science comes to know itself in the horizon of Religion and the same is true of Religion. This dialogue does not just produce a centripetal force of transformation. It also produces centrifugal force. It means it produces a body of knowledge that has its birth in the fruit of integration of both Science and Religion. The important beneficiary of all this is Humanity.

Conclusion

We have seen how the event of dialogue arising out of a situation is transformative and produces its subjects converted to its truths. The event of dialogue is also an event of transformation. It produces subjects converted to the dialogue of Science and Religion. The acts of dialogue then become mutually progressive for Science, Religion and Humanity. This is why we may call that the event of dialogue produces a trialogue between Science, Religion and Society. Such a trialogue leads to the advancing of Humanity. This is why we have to admit that there is a hermeneutical tricircle between Science, Religion and Humanity.

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