Religion or Science? (or religion and science?)

24

Comments

  • vanessasaysvanessasays Posts: 23
    edited July 2013
    @vanessasays and why is that? I mean, to anyone that might still think that the division or superiority of one means the demise of other. I'm just mixed between both.
    Because we really don't have any idea of anything. I myself am a religious person; I'm a member of the LDS church, but I also hold science and scientists in very high regard. A lot of my ward (what we call our fellow members in our neighborhood) throws science away like it's poison in the sight of God. I remember being taught a lesson in church, and our teacher put evolution in quotation marks, as if it was something to scoff at. On the other side, I've met many atheists who say religion is a "fairy tale" and that we have an "imaginary friend in the sky." Both are equally ignorant and disrespectful, and deeply frustrating. Both sides are SO sure they're right. And, from my belief, they are right. But it is not black and white. Just because the atheist can roll their eyes at religion, and a religious teacher can put air quotes around scientific fact, doesn't mean they can't both exist together. We just do not know for sure.
    by vanessasays
  • BulleTBulleT Netanya, IsraelPosts: 14
    I'm an orthodox jew and  I haven't seen once in my entire life a contradiction between my religion and science. I often even find them completing each other, and it's a great fun to see how new experiments and discoveries match to my believes. (And yes, I am aware of confirmation bias).
    image
  • gfob1999gfob1999 Posts: 14
    I say religion AND science. You just have to decide where you see them meet.
  • CharlesLaCourCharlesLaCour Posts: 250 ✭✭✭
    Lets start with a few definitions:
    Natural: 
    Having to do with the phenomena of our physical world.

    Supernatural: 
    Having to do with phenomena beyond or outside our physical world.

    Agent:
    An entity that can act based on its desires and beliefs. 

    Scientific Method: 
    An iterative process involve the steps: Observation/Research, Hypothesis, Prediction, Experimentation, Conclusion.  

    Science:
    Science is the systematic method of discovery and description of the world around us based on the "Scientific Method".  

    Religion:
    Religion a belief in something sacred, a separation of sacred and profane along with a moral code based on the sacred.  Religion is not defined by a belief in a god or gods.  

    Now that I have established what I mean by the above terms here is the reason that I believe that religion and science are incompatible belief systems.

    In almost all religions the sacred involves either god(s) or other supernatural agents or forces that act in the natural world.  It is in the belief that the supernatural has an effect on the natural where religion and science start to conflict.  

    I will agree that just because we can not detect something doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.  However it does mean that it is unable to interact at a level to have an effect.  

    For example lets look at the concept of a soul as the supernatural essence of who a person is.  For this to be true the soul needs to be able to interact with the persons physical body/brain.  For this interaction to occur it needs to be able to cause changes in the body, these changes would be measurable because they are changes in natural objects/systems.  The measurable changes in the human body are all describable through physics/science so where is the supernatural interaction? 
  • OlleOlle Posts: 289 ✭✭✭
    Ultimately all belief contains an element of faith. I believe that atoms exist because decades of rigorous scientific research indicates it, but that hinges on my faith in the scientific method as the best tool we have for assessing the nature of reality. Hell, even my belief that there is a laptop in front of me right now is based on my own faith in what my senses tell me. Also, as several people have pointed out, it's philosophically impossible to know for sure what's true and what isn't. So it's tempting, therefore, to suggest that religion and science can coexist peacefully on their own merits.

    But here's the thing: science grows stronger from questioning established truths, whereas religion grows weaker from questioning established truths. Scientific belief is based on empiricism and logic, whereas religious belief is based on faith for faith's sake. Keeping both of these models in your head at the same time requires you to compartmentalize the way that you think of the world in very strange ways. Like, to me, religion seems like willfully refraining from asking critical questions about a certain number of things, because not questioning those things gives you comfort or meaning.

    I love much of what S.J. Gould has written, he's one of my favorite science authors, but I think he was wrong about the non-overlapping magisteria. Religion does a lot of stuff that isn't the business or concern of science, such as provide people with ethics, morals and emotional meaning, but that isn't the only thing that religion does. It also makes claims about the nature of reality - claims like "there is an intelligent being who rules the entire universe" - and applying scientific reasoning to those claims causes them to fall apart. (Applying religious logic to science makes equally little sense.) This demonstrates that the two ways of thinking about the world are not always, but quite often, in direct conflict.
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  • coolcat3699coolcat3699 Sydenham, LondonPosts: 144 ✭✭
    I love science and I love religion
    i think religion explains why we are here and science tells us how
    they definately can both work together because evolution and things like that could have been Gods way of making the world
  • alfre99alfre99 Montevideo, UruguayPosts: 37
    I think that it is both, not because science its because you cant have religiose people change their minds about something that has existed for over thousands of years in 1 day, you have to go slowly, first having the admit science and then helping them understand.
    I hope that Fransico (the new Pope) will help catholics try to understand that science dose exist, and that they can go hand by hand and help everybody understand.
    But it is a long way.....
    PS: Sorry for my very bad English, im from Uruguay
  • AJ91AJ91 Posts: 283 ✭✭✭
    I'm a little busy at the moment, so I can't catch up on all the debate that's been happening beyond the first few posts, but here's my take on the original question.

    I am Catholic, and I study Engineering. Faith and Science are both integral parts of my life.

    Science is the search for truth, or so its etymology implies. The scientific method is the best physical world method that we have for declaring something true or false. 

    Theology is also the search for truth. It is, however, outside the scope of the scientific method, which can only look at physical absolutes.

    The first Vatican counsel said "Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth." (Dei Filius 4: DS 3017) And so the Catholic church has declared science and faith to be compatible since at the very latest 1868.

    With this in mind whenever I discover some discrepancy between my faith and scientifically declared truth, I take my faith to be in error. I am careful, however, to remember that mine is not a God of the gaps, who only shows himself in any sufficiently advanced technology that is indistinguishable from magic, but one who is in all scientific truth, and outside all possibility of scientific understanding.
    Sede Sapientiae Ora Pro Nobis
  • OlleOlle Posts: 289 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2013
    AJ91 said:
    The first Vatican counsel said "Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth." (Dei Filius 4: DS 3017) And so the Catholic church has declared science and faith to be compatible since at the very latest 1868.
    ... Right, but only if you accept the starting maxim that faith is, as you say, above reason. If you put reason first, it's a different story.

    Personally, I think it's intellectually virtuous to rely on faith only when absolutely necessary (i.e. when both empiricism and reason fall short).
    by Olle
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  • CharlesLaCourCharlesLaCour Posts: 250 ✭✭✭
    I have to disagree with the definition of Theology as a search for truth.  Theology is the study of the divine and predisposed its existence.  

    Also science is more of the search for how than a search for truth.

    To me faith is belief without reason so it is often succumbing to an authority bias.  

    I have stated a number of times on these forums what I see as the fundamental conflict between science and religion so I will not repeat it again.  
  • Lavache_BeadsmanLavache_Beadsman New YorkPosts: 661 ✭✭✭
    It depends on your "interpretation" of the religious text. If you take it literally (and, contrary to popular belief, many of the major Western religious texts instruct their readers/practitioners to take them literally), then it would indeed seem that science and religion clash in a lot of places. For instance, the Bible says that the sun revolves around the Earth, which we know scientifically not to be true. For instance, the Bible has God creating Eve out of Adam's rib bone, which obviously violates some physical/biological principles.

    But it should be said that mainstream religion reconciles these incompatibilities by saying that practitioners are basically free to interpret their respective religious texts however they see fit. When faced with parts of the New Testament that tell parents of non-believers to stone their children to death, for instance, today's practitioners are told that the Bible is "symbolic" and "metaphorical" and not to be taken literally, except, of course, when it is.
  • AJ91AJ91 Posts: 283 ✭✭✭
    Olle said:
    ... Right, but only if you accept the starting maxim that faith is, as you say, above reason. If you put reason first, it's a different story.
    I read that as faith being outside reason- that they do not coincide. That's why I allow reason to trump faith- if something can be scientifically shown then faith has no business telling me otherwise. 

    @charleslacour While you are right that most Theologians will be predisposed to the existence of a deity, that should not be confused with the field itself being predisposed to the same. We see time and time again in science people being predisposed to their own theories, but science itself must by its nature be predisposed to truth. I know of atheist theologians, and I know that any theologian worth their salt separates absolute fact from derived theological truth: they are careful to differentiate what we know about an itinerant preacher in the first century named Jesus and what we assume about him from the Gospels.

    And yes, 'how' is the specific part of 'truth' in which Science is interested. It's not interested in how things don't happen- it is interested in truth. Theology is interested in the truth about God. I'm sure you do not mean, as I have inferred from your comment, that there is no field of study that cares about what is true?

    @lavache_beadsman I talk about, and I'm going to assume that you do too, sunrise and sunset all the time. I do not literally mean that the sun is rising and the earth is stationary. There is a large amount of idiomatic language that we use all the time, and so we never take anything quite exactly literally- until we want to pick a hole in it, and then suddenly... 

    I will simply ask: show me where it is written to take the bible literally. 
    Sede Sapientiae Ora Pro Nobis
  • orathaicorathaic Posts: 69 ✭✭
    More than both? For centuries religion held onto knowledge, as sacred and secret. Christian masses held in Latin were the norm, and this probably kept Latin alive (where it is currently still used in science, for precisely one reason, precision; not being a 'living' language means it's not going to change, so there is less confusion) 

    The relationship with knowledge is something which has changed, once an elite/occult/secret thing, science has made lead to a more open world. But that's not really fair to religion, it was largely the educated, wealthy, religious organisations which helped develop all science (as described above, people seeing science as a tool to understand god's creation) AND it was religion which promoted education in much of the west (before there were any state schools) In fact i'm pretty sure religious organisations are still setting up schools in the developing world... That relationship between religion and knowledge has changed.

    But before religion we get magic. Shamanism is a pretty common theme amongst multiple pre-urban communities. Before you have a city then you're likely to get some people who specialise in the 'magics' or 'spiritual healing' - a very useful person to have around if you're sick and don't have anything else... That kind of magic could have been about petitioning spirits for help (with illness, or drought etc) and with cities it is easy to see it becoming more organised, more codified, and the wisdom being kept carefully and passed on within a religious caste.

    I think there is a trend going: magic -> religion -> science
    And there has always been conflict between these - ' The Hebrew Bible condemns sorcery. Deuteronomy 18:10–12 states "No one shall be found among you who makes a son or daughter pass through fire, who practices divination, or is a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or one that casts spells, or who consults ghosts or spirits, or who seeks oracles from the dead. For whoever does these things is abhorrent to the Lord;" ' - (src: wikipedia) I don't know many religious people today who believe in magic, and 'magic' which is shared freely - so everyone can do it - is called technology... (even today, people like David Blaine do things which people think are impossible, or which can't be done by everyone... does he still hold the record for the holding your breath underwater the longest?) 

    There has been something of a transition as scientific ideas take hold; they push back religious ideas. And in future we will continue to see some conflict here - especially if our understanding of the human mind, needs and good/evil become more nuanced. Currently science restricts itself to asking 'how' questions while religion reigns over the 'why' and this will continue - but 'how' to make someone happy, good, not sin etc. will infringe on things some people are currently comfortable with.

    In some sense, we just have revisions of model of 'how' things work. How the earth was made, where we came from... our place in the world. How to make enough food to feed your family isn't that controversial now, but i'm sure when rain dances or blood sacrifices were common *not* doings them would have lead to lots of conflict. Revisions upon revisions of 'how' things fit together. They will continue. Conflict between new ideas and old traditions will continue - and in that sense, the process will go on; the snapshot of how we feel TODAY about the topic is limited. 
    the fathers of great men are quickly forgotten.
  • CharlesLaCourCharlesLaCour Posts: 250 ✭✭✭
    @AJ91 ;Theology by definition is a subject that deals with the divine regardless the beliefs of the person who studies it.   Claiming that theology has nothing to do with the divine is like claiming that mathematics has nothing to do with numbers.  Yes an atheist can study theology in the same way that someone can study greek mythology, they do not have to believe in the ideas but they do study what beliefs people have and what their effects are. In theology if you start with the idea that  the divine doesn't exist your study is at a dead end other than an exercise in how it effects believers.  

    Also any scholar that takes the Bible, TaNaKh, Quran or Bhagavad Gita is a document that is to be taken literally is a person who has not really read them critically.  This has nothing to do with the point I was trying to make.  

    Truth is not a objective thing, this is why science is not about finding truth.  Science is based on making observations and coming up with valid descriptions of these observations that make valid predictions.  

    Claiming god and other religious ideas "outside all possibility of scientific understanding" puts it at odds with the scientific method.  From a scientific perspective anything that has an effect on the physical world is measurable and quantifiable.  If something is "outside all possibility of scientific understanding" then it can have no effect on the physical world.  

  • SANTA_ATE_CHICAGOSANTA_ATE_CHICAGO PennsylvaniaPosts: 2,637 ✭✭✭
    I read a book a while ago that had a character that had studied science and religion in college and was a religious leader. She claimed (to roughly paraphrase) that science asks how, while religion asks why. I think that sums it up quite well. They're fundamentally different. Science is about facts: things that are certainly either true or untrue. Religion is about belief: knowing it may not be true, but believing it anyway through trust and a belief that it is a way to live better. So no, they're no mutually exclusive.
    When is a door not a door? When someone steals the hinges.
  • AJ91AJ91 Posts: 283 ✭✭✭
    @charleslacour I never said that Theology has nothing to do with the divine, I said that it doesn't assume a deity (see Buddhist theology for an obvious example, but Christian theology shouldn't either). An Atheist studying Theology doesn't approach it as Mythology, but as Philosophy and can study far more than you think. The effects of faith on believers is more Anthropology than Theology. 

    I'd like to hear how you define "truth", since we seem to be arguing at cross purposes there.

    Claiming religious ideas to be outside of scientific understanding does not put it at odds with the scientific method, it puts it out of reach. Theology is not the study of anything physical. If it were then God would have been disproved decades ago, and probably by a priest (ok, maybe not probably, but possibly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lema%C3%AEtre). If you were arguing that if there is anything beyond the physical then it is irrelevant to us then I'd concede it as a possibility, but as you seem to be arguing that there is definitely nothing that isn't encompassed by physics I cannot agree at any level. 

    Sede Sapientiae Ora Pro Nobis
  • Dr_MachinegunDr_Machinegun India,MumbaiPosts: 31
    I believe that science is a religion in itself, its everywhere...and there is no harm in believing in god because its what gives us hope in the darkest hour,it gives us hope,the will to survive. :)

    they call me Dr Moooooooo...Dooo Wee Dooooooo

  • CharlesLaCourCharlesLaCour Posts: 250 ✭✭✭
    @AJ91 I did not say that theology assumed a deity.  I have purposely tried to use the term devine and not deity or god because as you point out not all religions has them.  When I said that theology was a study of the divine and presupposes its existence I was referring to the divine not a deity.  

    To me being an atheist also includes a disbelief in the devine or supernatural because the same reasons I do not believe in the supernatural are the same reasons I do not believe in the devine or god.  This is why I view an atheist studying theology being like studying mythology.  As a topic of philosophy I agree that I can be interesting to subject the various ideas of the devine to logical analysis and extrapolate what they mean.  To someone who doesn't accepting the existence of the devine theology is the study of a set of ideas and beliefs that are based on an incorrect assumptions.  

    I avoid using the term "truth" in any technical context other than referring to empirically testable statements like "it's raining outside my house".  The word "truth" has too many interpretations especially when you start talking about the search for truth.  I will agree that science is looking for truth in that it is looking for the validity of things that are empirically testable.  When religion or philosophy is talking about looking for truth it usually goes past what is empirically testable.  

    I will completely agree that things that are purely without physical effect are things are beyond science to explain.  My claim is that as long as something be it divine or supernatural has an effect on the physical world it is subject to its effets being quantified by the scientific method.  Even if the cause can not be explained the effect is observable and measurable.  So far every claim of an effect cause by the divine or supernatural that has been tested there is a direct cause that is explainable by science.  

    So if theology is about something with no physical effects and then I agree that there is no conflict with science.  But so far I have yet to find a form of religion that doesn't have at least some claim about the interaction of the devine with the physical world putting it in conflict with science.  
  • OlleOlle Posts: 289 ✭✭✭
    AJ91 said:
    Theology is not the study of anything physical. If it were then God would have been disproved decades ago [...]
    So you're saying that God doesn't interact with the world in any way, and his existence or lack of existence makes no practical difference?
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  • orathaicorathaic Posts: 69 ✭✭
    "For instance, the Bible says that the sun revolves around the Earth, which we know scientifically not to be true."

    - just a point of order, as a physics nerd i can't help it; Science does not say the Earth goes around the Sun, science says that all motion is relative (Galileo, theory of relativity, later better theories of relativity were introduced by Einstein, but they agree Galileo's theory on this much) From the point of view of the 'centre of mass of the solar system' the earth appears to move in a circle around the sun, while the sun barely moves at all. Meanwhile from the point of view of the 'centre of mass of the earth' the sun definitely goes around the earth (while the earth rotates on it's axis, causing the sun to appear to cross the sky once per day) - from the point of view of the centre of mass of the earth, in a rotating reference frame, the earth remains entirely stationary, AND the sun goes around the earth (along with the rest of the Universe...) - this is the frame of reference the writers of the bible were probably looking from when they said that.

    Meanwhile in the centre of mass of the Milky Way's reference frame, the sun goes around the centre of the milky way, and the earth follows it while going around the sun each year...  

    'I believe that science is a religion in itself, its everywhere...and there is no harm in believing in god because its what gives us hope in the darkest hour,it gives us hope,the will to survive. '

    There may be harm, there are some religious people who believe in pray over medicine, and whose children have died because of their belief (perhaps refusing blood transfusions) So perhaps there are other ways to find hope...
    the fathers of great men are quickly forgotten.
  • AJ91AJ91 Posts: 283 ✭✭✭
    @orathaic On your last point I agree entirely. There is a joke about a priest in a town by a river. One year it rains heavily for a significant period and the river breaks its banks. As the waters rise many people start to leave the town for the duration of the flood, and one car pulls up by the church and asks the priest if he wants a ride. He declines, saying that God will provide. 

    The waters continue to rise and the priest is forced to come out of his home and start living on the roof of the church. As he is sitting there in the rain a boat comes up and asks him if would like to be rescued. "No," he answers. "God will provide."

    A week later and the rain has still not abated. The church roof is immersed and the priest is clinging to the steeple. A helicopter is doing a round of the town to ensure that everyone has got away and sees him there. A man comes down on a rope to pull him free but the priest clings resolutely to the steeple, shouting over the competing roars of rain and helicopter that God will provide.

    When the priest dies, which is shortly after this, drowned in the waters of the flood, he goes to heaven and meets his maker. There he weeps and says to God "I devoted my whole life to you. I have sinned little, and kept others from sin. I have cared for the sick and the poor. And yet, in my hour of greatest need, you did not provide."

    And God's great voice replies: "but I did. I provided a car, a boat and a helicopter."

    I believe in the power of prayer, but over medicine? Prayer is a supplement, a connection with God, but we have direct control over the physical world. God helps those who help themselves.
    Sede Sapientiae Ora Pro Nobis
  • OlleOlle Posts: 289 ✭✭✭
    How do we tell the difference between helicopters provided by God and helicopters provided by Search & Rescue?
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  • LibertyNerd25LibertyNerd25 Reno, NevadaPosts: 357 ✭✭✭
    Religion and science should not be mixed, because they deal with different subjects. If people stopped trying to put those to protons together, they'll keeping repelling. Like it or not, there's no neutron to king religion and science together. 
    We should strive for a society where all men, women, and children have access to what they need to live with dignity. Jobs, living wages, access to a good education, and so on. Only then can we call ourselves humane and just.


  • clausitclausit EnglandPosts: 7,809 ✭✭✭✭
    Haven't read through the whole thread so apolgies if I'm repeating someone else, but it seems to me that you have to seperate a belief in God (i.e a sentient, supernatural being that effects the world, may have created the universe and guides the evolution of it) and religion, because they are not synonymous. God is independent of science, since his/her/its existence cannot be proven or disproven empirically. So God and science are perfectly compatible.

    In terms of a specific religion, it depends of the beliefs of that religion. If they are logically consistent and don't clash with our empirical observations of the world, then there's no reason to exclude them. However, most religions, taken in their entierty, are not compatable with science. If you take the Bible, for example, in its entierty, it is self contradictory and repeatedly defies the basic known laws of physics, so it is not compatable with science. However, there are many people who claim to be Christian and follow the Bible who have found a way to reconcile the two. It depends on what beliefs you accept and which you reject. You define your own religion and that can or it can't inculde science, but it is a very personal thing.

    (P.S In the interests of disclosure, I am a life-long athiest.)
    You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted but mostly they're darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin. Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?
  • LibertyNerd25LibertyNerd25 Reno, NevadaPosts: 357 ✭✭✭
    clausit said:
    Haven't read through the whole thread so apolgies if I'm repeating someone else, but it seems to me that you have to seperate a belief in God (i.e a sentient, supernatural being that effects the world, may have created the universe and guides the evolution of it) and religion, because they are not synonymous. God is independent of science, since his/her/its existence cannot be proven or disproven empirically. So God and science are perfectly compatible.

    In terms of a specific religion, it depends of the beliefs of that religion. If they are logically consistent and don't clash with our empirical observations of the world, then there's no reason to exclude them. However, most religions, taken in their entierty, are not compatable with science. If you take the Bible, for example, in its entierty, it is self contradictory and repeatedly defies the basic known laws of physics, so it is not compatable with science. However, there are many people who claim to be Christian and follow the Bible who have found a way to reconcile the two. It depends on what beliefs you accept and which you reject. You define your own religion and that can or it can't inculde science, but it is a very personal thing.

    (P.S In the interests of disclosure, I am a life-long athiest.)
    You have to remember that in the Bible, a lot of things are symbolical, not meant to be taken literally. 
    We should strive for a society where all men, women, and children have access to what they need to live with dignity. Jobs, living wages, access to a good education, and so on. Only then can we call ourselves humane and just.


  • clausitclausit EnglandPosts: 7,809 ✭✭✭✭

    clausit said:
    Haven't read through the whole thread so apolgies if I'm repeating someone else, but it seems to me that you have to seperate a belief in God (i.e a sentient, supernatural being that effects the world, may have created the universe and guides the evolution of it) and religion, because they are not synonymous. God is independent of science, since his/her/its existence cannot be proven or disproven empirically. So God and science are perfectly compatible.

    In terms of a specific religion, it depends of the beliefs of that religion. If they are logically consistent and don't clash with our empirical observations of the world, then there's no reason to exclude them. However, most religions, taken in their entierty, are not compatable with science. If you take the Bible, for example, in its entierty, it is self contradictory and repeatedly defies the basic known laws of physics, so it is not compatable with science. However, there are many people who claim to be Christian and follow the Bible who have found a way to reconcile the two. It depends on what beliefs you accept and which you reject. You define your own religion and that can or it can't inculde science, but it is a very personal thing.

    (P.S In the interests of disclosure, I am a life-long athiest.)
    You have to remember that in the Bible, a lot of things are symbolical, not meant to be taken literally. 

    Well, firstly there are a lot of people who disagree with you on that and take the whole thing very literally. Secondly, how do you know which bits you have to take symbolically and which bits are literal? Most of the time when I see this it's an excuse to disregard the less wholesome or more farfetched parts of the Old Testament.

    There are parts of the Bible that are pretty unambiguous (for example the parts about stoning adulteresses) that most Christians are happy to ignore and bits that completely disregard the laws of physics (people coming back to life) that they are willing to accept. It always struck me as incredibly arbitrary to say that some impossible miracles and laws of God are metaphorical and open to interpretation, while other impossible miracles and laws of God are sacrosanct and completely literal.

    I mean it's your faith and I guess you can believe what you want, but I never understood why someone coming back to life, magically curing diseases and transmuting water is considered by many Christians to be less farfetched than, say the entire earth flooding and all animals getting on a boat. Or God blowing up a city or two.

    You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted but mostly they're darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin. Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?
  • ThomasAlexanderThomasAlexander Gävleborg, Sweden Posts: 22
    I should start this of by saying that I'm not religious in any way, I don't subscribe to any doctrine or dogma and I don't believe in a God per se, but I do enjoy discussions on the subject and I think it's fascinating all in all.  

    As I'm sure a lot of you would agree on a combination of the two is possible, as long as you're not to entrenched in to either camp so to speak.

    Religious studies have shown me that science gives much more accurate and conclusive (albeit frustratingly hard and complicated) answers to some of our thoughts about the world. Religion is in many ways easier and more simple, i.e. "there was this god and he made all this stuff".

    Religion on the other hand is proven to help people get through tough times and it's able to create a feeling of comfort even in some of a persons darkest hours. Science, more often than not, only complicates things and is a lot less comforting.

    I would say that science and knowledge helps us understand the world around us, religion and philosophy helps us understand ourselves.


  • For a long time I've considered science to be a form of religion. If religion is your beliefs, and I believe in science, therefore does that make is my religion? I greatly admire those who have their religious beliefs but also do research about things that contradict it. 
    What really matters is what the individual believes, so I don't think we can ultimately define either science or religion in this context because it is all a matter of personal ideas.   
  • clausitclausit EnglandPosts: 7,809 ✭✭✭✭
    For a long time I've considered science to be a form of religion. If religion is your beliefs, and I believe in science, therefore does that make is my religion? I greatly admire those who have their religious beliefs but also do research about things that contradict it. 
    What really matters is what the individual believes, so I don't think we can ultimately define either science or religion in this context because it is all a matter of personal ideas.   


    There is a difference between belief and religion. Beliefs are the individual, foundational ideas, where religion is the organising of those ideas into a coherent structure. So Reincarnation is a belief. The uniformity of nature (i.e that the laws of physics don't spontaneously change) is a belief. Some beliefs are empirically true or false, while others are almost impossible to prove or disprove. These are generally quite personal to each individual and difficult to properly define. Each person has their own set of beliefs and it varies hugely from person to person.

    But religion, (and science) is not fundamentally a personal thing, it is a social thing. It is a large group of people coming together with simmilar beliefs and creating a cohesive structure out of those shared beliefs. While each individual may or may not hold every belief of the group personally, they still identify in some form with the group as a whole. We are social animals and you can't disregard the effect that has on our belief structures and ideas. While it is a mistake to view institutions like Christianity or the Scientific community as monolithic entities seperate from the individuals that make them up, it is also a mistake to only focus on those individuals and ignore the actions of the group as a whole.
    You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted but mostly they're darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin. Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?
  • EpicShelbyEpicShelby Posts: 3
    What we need to remember is to respect each other's opinions. I personally am an atheist, but I see nothing wrong with religion and science going hand in hand.
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