Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Rees, Robert A.
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Dialogues on Science and Religion I 123 In my work we look at methods of population control. Birth control is directly against our religious philosophy so, of course, it becomes a conflict. But you see people starving to death, and you wonder why is it their lot in life, why must they be born under conditions where they never have an opportunity to be educated, where they never have an opportunity to do anything other than try to survive. So, yes, I am involved to some extent in a project on human contraception. Of course, we work with animals for the basic understanding of it. Ordinarily, I use this as a method of studying the normalcy of reproduction. This is the marvel to me in science, the scientific work that I am in—the marvel and greatness of the body. How important and how wonderful a system it really is, and how wonderful a system it was created to be, and we scratch a few surfaces now and then and we make tremendous breakthroughs. Yet, the body—human and animal—remains a challenge; the marvel is how little we really know about it. The Church, of course, teaches that under normal circumstances we should not practice contraception. You find yourself professionally engaged in a project where you are working on this problem with animals, but hopefully for use with humans. How do you resolve this conflict in your life, then, as a member of the Church? I feel that I have to know everything some day, and, whether or not you are stopping the conception, you are also learning about methods, either physical or physiological, and laws that govern the whole universe. I have to look at it from the standpoint that it is increased knowledge. How you use this knowledge is a different thing. In other words, if you have the knowledge of something, I think it is the application of this knowledge that becomes important, the rationale you put on the use of this newly gained knowledge. I have to come back to the idea that if we are not supposed to know how to do this, we are not going to learn it. / mentioned earlier that I was interested in asking you about the issue of time demands made upon you by your profession and those made on you by the Church. As far as demands are concerned, a university really makes no greater demand upon you than the eight-hour day. The only thing that occurs in this eight-hour day, especially in science, is one's own personal agenda. It is difficult for me because there are so many things I must find out. I spend, probably on the average, twelve to fourteen hours a day in my profession. There is a driving force within me that compels me to do this. My day starts early. We all get up at 5:30 a.m. so that we can eat breakfast together before the children leave for seminary at 6:00 As soon as they are gone, my day begins. I come back to work many, many times in the evening and most of all day Saturday and sometimes on Sunday, because there is this compelling, driving force in me. My knowledge has opened a tremendous number of doors for me all over the world. Not the knowledge that I have gained, but the knowledge that I have been given, to the extent that one of the real problems in my life has to do with capitalizing on some of the