Science And Faith
The gentleman then put a question which he said he considered of very
great importance in connection with a religious movement, claiming to be
universal. What position he asked, if any, did Baha'u'llah given to the
modern ideas and conceptions of Science in his teachings. The whole
structure of modern civilization is based upon the results and the
knowledge obtained through laborious and patient observation of facts
collected by men of Science: in some cases through hundreds of years of
painstaking investigation. To make his meaning clearer, he instanced the
ethic, and the moral teachings of the Chinese philosophers, than which he
could conceive nothing higher. However, these teachings had very little
effect outside of China, for the reason he considered, that they were not
primarily based on the teachings of Science.
'Abdu'l-Baha replied that a very great importance was given to Science and
knowledge in the writings of Baha'u'llah, who wrote that, if a man
educated the children of the poor, who could not themselves afford to do
so, it was, in the sight of God, as if he had educated the Son of God.
If any religion rejected Science and knowledge, that religion was false.
Science and Religion should go forward together; indeed, they should be
like two fingers of one hand.
Baha'u'llah had also in His writings given a most important place to Art,
and the practice of skilled trades. He had stated that the practice of an
Art or Trade in the true spirit of service was identical with the worship
A gentleman connected with the work of a Settlement then asked what was
the best method of raising up and civilizing the very lowest and most
degraded and ignorant of the people and would their education come about
gradually through the enlightenment of the Spirit, or was there any
special means we could adopt to further this end?
'Abdu'l-Baha replied that the best way was to give them spiritual
teachings and enlightenment. He also remarked that the way to broaden the
outlook of the very narrow-hearted and prejudiced, and to make them listen
to a wider teaching, was by showing towards them the greatest kindness and
love. The example of our lives was of more value than words.
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