Although there is no agreement among the Jews on how to tailor the Torah to our modern life, our Jewish majority somehow (most probably genetically) have the Jewish morality guidance at heart as something from the “Above” for everybody to follow. Why it is so and why the science plays here the major role is explained below.
If we trust the Torah/Bible, and the peoples’ majority in the Western-civilization trust it, we the humans are created in the “image and likeness of God.” The Torah describes two major characteristics of this image – God the Creator and God the Unique Individual. If it is so, we the humans should be individual and collective creators peacefully competing. And as many of us recognize, these two characteristics are at the foundation of our democracy with free-market economy and individual freedoms.
However, at the very beginning it was not so. At the very beginning, the humans were living as a bunch of competing tribes fighting each other and making their livelihood by capturing the wealth of the defeated neighboring tribes. Each tribe was protected by its own fictitious god who, after being properly “bribed”, was expected to secure the victory over a neighboring tribe.
Then, One True God (with many contemporary competing images of what it might be) realized that is not how the humans should relate to each other, and He decided to change all that. He had chosen the Head of one of the tribes – in the future, the Jewish Nation – Abraham to lead the change – the change aimed at introducing the common rules of competing coexistence for all fighting tribes thus replacing the mutual destruction rules by the mutual coexistence rules.
The One-God’s rules for mutual human’s competitive coexistence were codified in the Torah on the Mount Sinai and delivered to the Jewish people through Moses and then through Rabbi Joshua (Jesus Christ) to the non-Jews. It is reasonable to assume that in other parts of the world the One-God mutual human’s competitive coexistence rules were introduced by other great humans like Buddha for example.
For a long time after the beginning, the labors to support the family were consuming all the time for most of the people – therefore, a small group of people, to be called in the future the priests/rabbis, was formed to learn what God directs the people to do and how to get the favors from Him.
The priests/rabbis had become the intermediaries between God and the people, and their livelihood was supported by people’s contributions.
Scientific discoveries, technology developments, economic and financial innovations in the last few centuries reduced the labors needed to support the family – more time was becoming available for education and learning of how the God’s world works, and the people were becoming making the life morality decision on their own without the help of the priests/rabbis. That was the beginning of the spiritual split between the priests/rabbis and the ordinary Jews – the new streams of Judaism were born, and many Jews had begun making their own spiritual decision in all spheres of Jewish life without consulting the rabbis.
The science introduced a new image of God that much better guides the people in defining what is Normal/Good in all spheres of the life of individuals and should be supported, and what is Abnormal/bad and should be suppressed. This image is of a Supreme Power who at the very beginning had created the laws that govern everything – the laws of physics, chemistry, mathematics … and of course the laws of morality. Those who know and follow the laws are rewarded by personal or collective creative success and are happy. Those who do not know the laws or do not follow them fail to achieve anything and are unhappy. Thus, you do not need anymore to ask for God’s favors – what you need to do is to learn the laws and apply them to all spheres of your individual life.
And where are the priests/rabbis in all that? The following several options could be envisioned: to serve Haredim orthodox groups in a purely ritual way as it is done now – to become Torah-guided morality scientists searching for the facts on the ground among the real people – to become the teachers of public morality in the countries of Judeo-Christian Western civilization – to become a sort of Jewish public organizers trying to spiritually unite the disunited Jewish Nation – or, continue to do what they are doing now asking God for help.