In his superb article “Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds,” Michael Lewis quotes the abbot of Greece’s Vatopaidi monastery , Father Arsenios, explaining the popularity of his domain as a destination for modern Greeks.
There is more of a spiritual thirst today,” he says when I ask him why his monastery has attracted so many important business and political people. “Twenty or 30 years ago they taught that science will solve all problems. There are so many material things and they are not satisfying. People have gotten tired of material pleasures. Of material things. And they realize they cannot really find success in these things.”
Leaving aside whether Vatopaidi is the right place to go for spiritual nourishment, he’s right, and what I think angers scientists is that science and technology are no longer recognized as the answer to all of mankind’s important questions. While their work is of profound material and spiritual importance, many of us are finding that scientific explanations, for all of their technical accuracy, are somehow inadequate.